Advances in Agricultural Engineering Technologies and Application

A special issue of Agriculture (ISSN 2077-0472). This special issue belongs to the section "Agricultural Technology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (25 April 2023) | Viewed by 145089

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Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA
Interests: thermal environment modeling; energy-efficient design; renewable energy-based operation of controlled environment agricultural (CEA) production facilities
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Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore 54840, Pakistan
Interests: waste to energy; carbon capture; regeneration of adsorbents; sustainable environment; biomass utilization; waste management; environmental pollution
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Technology adaptation in the agriculture sector is crucial to ensure food security and poverty alleviation which are the primary themes of the UN-SDGs. Researchers and engineers are expected to address various challenges toward introducing innovative techniques, frameworks, and instruments, by which sustainable agriculture and food security can be satisfied. Worldwide, agricultural mechanization and modernization can be attained with advancements in agricultural engineering technologies and associated applications. Important to such progress are technological advancements in: agricultural automation and robotics; precision agriculture; high-efficiency irrigation systems; farm energy systems; the handling, storage, and processing of agricultural products; livestock and poultry sheds; farm water/wastewater management; biomass, biogas, and biochar; remote sensing and geographical studies; society and agriculture, and the associated bio-environment. Such advances in agricultural engineering technologies and applications represent the needs of the 21st century, particularly from the viewpoint of the agricultural water–energy–food security nexus. In light of this, this Special Issue will comprise original research, reviews, and case studies outlining recent progress and exploring scenarios in the abovementioned research areas.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to: aquaponics, hydroponic and aeroponic systems; agricultural automation and farm machinery; agricultural robotics, food storage and processing; irrigation and drainage systems/applications; digital agriculture, precision agriculture and smart farming systems; temperature/humidity control in agriculture.

Prof. Dr. Muhammad Sultan
Dr. Redmond R. Shamshiri
Dr. Md Shamim Ahamed
Dr. Muhammad Farooq
Guest Editors

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Agriculture is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • agricultural built environment
  • aquaponics, hydroponic and aeroponic systems
  • biomass, biogas, and bioenergy
  • food processing and storage
  • food security
  • irrigation and drainage systems and applications
  • modern livestock and poultry barns
  • next-generation greenhouses
  • renewable energy and agriculture
  • robotics and farm mechanization
  • solar dryers and solar pumping
  • sprinkler and drip irrigation systems
  • sustainable agricultural technologies
  • sustainable agriculture
  • temperature/humidity control systems for agriculture
  • water/wastewater treatment

Published Papers (60 papers)

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Research

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18 pages, 9450 KiB  
Article
Research on Optimization of the Bulb Form of the Bulb Tubular Pump Device for a Low-Head Agricultural Irrigation Pumping Station
by Hongyin Zhang, Jianlong Liu, Jinxin Wu, Weixuan Jiao, Li Cheng and Mingbin Yuan
Agriculture 2023, 13(9), 1698; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13091698 - 28 Aug 2023
Viewed by 729
Abstract
A bulb tubular pump unit is a horizontal tubular pump unit composed of a water pump and bulb with an electric motor installed. Electric motors, transmission equipment, and bearings are usually placed in the bulb. The bulb is located in the flow channel [...] Read more.
A bulb tubular pump unit is a horizontal tubular pump unit composed of a water pump and bulb with an electric motor installed. Electric motors, transmission equipment, and bearings are usually placed in the bulb. The bulb is located in the flow channel and has a relatively narrow space. Therefore, the shape of the bulb has a significant influence on the flow pattern and pump efficiency in the flow channel. In this study, the CFX 19.2 software was employed to optimize the bulb hydraulically according to its geometry and parameters. The research results indicate that the flow pattern at the tail of the elliptical bulb was better, the hydraulic loss at the bulb section was small, and the device efficiency was higher than that at the tail, which was round. The streamlined support had small flow resistance, minimal hydraulic loss, and a high pump unit head and efficiency. Nine schemes were selected, and the geometrical characteristics and parameters of the bulb were determined as follows: the shape of the tail of the bulb was oval, the bulb ratio was 0.96, and the shape of the support parts was streamlined. The results hold important reference significance to improve efficiency and broaden the operating conditions of bulb tubular pump devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Agricultural Engineering Technologies and Application)
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19 pages, 5199 KiB  
Article
Calibration of Collision Recovery Coefficient of Corn Seeds Based on High-Speed Photography and Sound Waveform Analysis
by Xinping Li, Wantong Zhang, Shendi Xu, Fuli Ma, Zhe Du, Yidong Ma and Jing Liu
Agriculture 2023, 13(9), 1677; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13091677 - 25 Aug 2023
Viewed by 800
Abstract
Compared with the movement of corn seeds in the sowing machine, the movement in the threshing machine is more intense. The collision between corn seeds and threshing parts and other corn seeds will not only change the movement path of corn seeds in [...] Read more.
Compared with the movement of corn seeds in the sowing machine, the movement in the threshing machine is more intense. The collision between corn seeds and threshing parts and other corn seeds will not only change the movement path of corn seeds in the threshing clearance but also cause damage to corn seeds. Therefore, when using discrete element simulation technology to optimize the critical components of corn threshing machinery, it is necessary to measure corn seeds’ accurate collision recovery coefficient. However, when measuring the collision recovery coefficient between corn seeds, there will be multi-point collisions between corn seeds, affecting the measurement results’ accuracy. In order to solve this problem, this study combined high-speed photography and the sound waveform of corn seed collision to eliminate the interference of the multi-point collision phenomenon and improve the accuracy of measurement results. According to the above test method, the contact parameters of corn seeds were measured. Finally, the corn–corn rolling friction coefficient and corn–PMMA rolling friction coefficient were 0.0784 and 0.0934, respectively. The corn–corn static friction coefficient was 0.32, and the corn–PMMA static friction coefficient was 0.445. The corn–corn collision recovery and corn–PMMA collision recovery coefficients were 0.28 and 0.62, respectively. After that, the method’s reliability and the measurement results’ accuracy were verified by the plane collision test and repose angle test. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Agricultural Engineering Technologies and Application)
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10 pages, 2718 KiB  
Article
Effective Laser Fly Control with Modulated UV-A Light Trapping for Mushroom Fungus Gnats (Diptera: Sciaridae)
by Sumesh Nair, Yvonne Yuling Hu, Ching-Chieh Su, Ming-Jeh Chien and Shean-Jen Chen
Agriculture 2023, 13(8), 1574; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13081574 - 7 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1546
Abstract
Fungus gnats (Sciaridae) are one of the most devastating pests on mushroom farms. Generally, they are controlled using relatively inefficient physical means, like sticky or pheromone traps, or with chemical pesticides. Here, we have proposed an integrated fungus gnat control system combining a [...] Read more.
Fungus gnats (Sciaridae) are one of the most devastating pests on mushroom farms. Generally, they are controlled using relatively inefficient physical means, like sticky or pheromone traps, or with chemical pesticides. Here, we have proposed an integrated fungus gnat control system combining a UV-A LED source at 365 nm and a high-power laser diode at 445 nm. The 365 nm UV-A LED serves a light trap, since previous studies have concluded that fungus gnats show maximum attraction in the range of 365–390 nm. The UV-A LED is also modulated at different frequencies, and the response of the gnats corresponding to these different frequencies was observed. We utilized an Arduino Uno microcontroller to run the integrated device, and a BASLER USB camera was used to capture the images. Our experiments indicated that a frequency of 40 Hz is the optimal choice for attracting the gnats most rapidly. Within 20 s of exposure, the UV-A LED operated at 40 Hz was found to trap approximately 80% of the gnats. In a restricted trapping zone measuring 2.5 × 2.5 × 3 cm3, our integrated module, which includes a 40 Hz modulated UV-A LED and a laser, resulted in a survival rate of only 50% for the total number of gnats. This outcome was accomplished through periodic 200 ms long exposures, amounting to a total duration of 2 min for a group of 100 gnats. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Agricultural Engineering Technologies and Application)
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13 pages, 5754 KiB  
Article
Design of Wireless Sensor Network for Agricultural Greenhouse Based on Improved Zigbee Protocol
by Ruipeng Tang, Narendra Kumar Aridas and Mohamad Sofian Abu Talip
Agriculture 2023, 13(8), 1518; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13081518 - 29 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1714
Abstract
Greenhouse cultivation technology has greatly contributed to the development of agriculture in Malaysia. Understanding how to monitor the greenhouse environment with high efficiency and low power consumption is particularly important. In this research, a wireless sensor network for agricultural greenhouses based on the [...] Read more.
Greenhouse cultivation technology has greatly contributed to the development of agriculture in Malaysia. Understanding how to monitor the greenhouse environment with high efficiency and low power consumption is particularly important. In this research, a wireless sensor network for agricultural greenhouses based on the improved Zigbee protocol is designed. Its hardware consists of various sensors and Zigbee nodes commonly used in agricultural greenhouses. On the basis of this hardware, this research designed the network topology of WMN (Wireless mesh network) by comparing the advantages and disadvantages of various topologies, and combined with this structure, proposed an improved ZigBee routing protocol EMP-ZBR to solve the question regarding energy loss and the network congestion of wireless networks. After testing EMP-ZBR and traditional Zigbee routing protocols, the improved EMP-ZBR protocol is superior to traditional Zigbee routing in terms of the end-to-end average delay, packet delivery rate, routing control overhead and routing discovery frequency, which were optimized about 1.1%, 15.2%, 15.2%, 8.1 ms in different mobile pause times, and 9.8%, 19.3%, 15.7% and 121 ms in different packet sending rates. The agreement proves that EMP-ZBR can more effectively alleviate the impact of congestion and improve the overall performance of the data monitoring system for agricultural greenhouses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Agricultural Engineering Technologies and Application)
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12 pages, 3352 KiB  
Communication
Predicting Models for Plant Metabolites Based on PLSR, AdaBoost, XGBoost, and LightGBM Algorithms Using Hyperspectral Imaging of Brassica juncea
by Hyo In Yoon, Hyein Lee, Jung-Seok Yang, Jae-Hyeong Choi, Dae-Hyun Jung, Yun Ji Park, Jai-Eok Park, Sang Min Kim and Soo Hyun Park
Agriculture 2023, 13(8), 1477; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13081477 - 26 Jul 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1311
Abstract
The integration of hyperspectral imaging with machine learning algorithms has presented a promising strategy for the non-invasive and rapid detection of plant metabolites. For this study, we developed prediction models using partial least squares regression (PLSR) and boosting algo-rithms (such as AdaBoost, XGBoost, [...] Read more.
The integration of hyperspectral imaging with machine learning algorithms has presented a promising strategy for the non-invasive and rapid detection of plant metabolites. For this study, we developed prediction models using partial least squares regression (PLSR) and boosting algo-rithms (such as AdaBoost, XGBoost, and LightGBM) for five metabolites in Brassica juncea leaves: total chlorophyll, phenolics, flavonoids, glucosinolates, and anthocyanins. To enhance the model performance, we employed several spectral data preprocessing methods and feature-selection al-gorithms. Our results showed that the boosting algorithms generally outperformed the PLSR models in terms of prediction accuracy. In particular, the LightGBM model for chlorophyll and the AdaBoost model for flavonoids improved the prediction performance, with R2p = 0.71–0.74, com-pared to the PLSR models (R2p = 0.53–0.58). The final models for the glucosinolates and anthocya-nins performed sufficiently for practical uses such as screening, with R2p = 0.82–0.85 and RPD = 2.4–2.6. Our findings indicate that the application of a single preprocessing method is more effective than utilizing multiple techniques. Additionally, the boosting algorithms with feature selection ex-hibited superior performance compared to the PLSR models in the majority of cases. These results highlight the potential of hyperspectral imaging and machine learning algorithms for the non-destructive and rapid detection of plant metabolites, which could have significant implications for the field of smart agriculture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Agricultural Engineering Technologies and Application)
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23 pages, 8157 KiB  
Article
Tea Bud Detection and 3D Pose Estimation in the Field with a Depth Camera Based on Improved YOLOv5 and the Optimal Pose-Vertices Search Method
by Zhiwei Chen, Jianneng Chen, Yang Li, Zhiyong Gui and Taojie Yu
Agriculture 2023, 13(7), 1405; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13071405 - 14 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1225
Abstract
The precise detection and positioning of tea buds are among the major issues in tea picking automation. In this study, a novel algorithm for detecting tea buds and estimating their poses in a field environment was proposed by using a depth camera. This [...] Read more.
The precise detection and positioning of tea buds are among the major issues in tea picking automation. In this study, a novel algorithm for detecting tea buds and estimating their poses in a field environment was proposed by using a depth camera. This algorithm introduces some improvements to the YOLOv5l architecture. A Coordinate Attention Mechanism (CAM) was inserted into the neck part to accurately position the elements of interest, a BiFPN was used to enhance the small object detection ability, and a GhostConv module replaced the original Conv module in the backbone to reduce the model size and speed up model inference. After testing, the proposed detection model achieved an mAP of 85.2%, a speed of 87.71 FPS, a parameter number of 29.25 M, and a FLOPs value of 59.8 G, which are all better than those achieved with the original model. Next, an optimal pose-vertices search method (OPVSM) was developed to estimate the pose of tea by constructing a graph model to fit the pointcloud. This method could accurately estimate the poses of tea buds, with an overall accuracy of 90%, and it was more flexible and adaptive to the variations in tea buds in terms of size, color, and shape features. Additionally, the experiments demonstrated that the OPVSM could correctly establish the pose of tea buds through pointcloud downsampling by using voxel filtering with a 2 mm × 2 mm × 1 mm grid, and this process could effectively reduce the size of the pointcloud to smaller than 800 to ensure that the algorithm could be run within 0.2 s. The results demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm for tea bud detection and pose estimation in a field setting. Furthermore, the proposed algorithm has the potential to be used in tea picking robots and also can be extended to other crops and objects, making it a valuable tool for precision agriculture and robotic applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Agricultural Engineering Technologies and Application)
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15 pages, 6965 KiB  
Article
Cavitation Reactor for Pretreatment of Liquid Agricultural Waste
by Alexey Abdrashitov, Alexander Gavrilov, Evgeny Marfin, Vladimir Panchenko, Andrey Kovalev, Vadim Bolshev and Julia Karaeva
Agriculture 2023, 13(6), 1218; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13061218 - 9 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1525
Abstract
One of the most well-known methods of intensifying the process of anaerobic digestion is the pretreatment of raw materials. For the first time, the use of a jet-driven Helmholtz oscillator for biomass pretreatment is proposed. The design of the device is optimal for [...] Read more.
One of the most well-known methods of intensifying the process of anaerobic digestion is the pretreatment of raw materials. For the first time, the use of a jet-driven Helmholtz oscillator for biomass pretreatment is proposed. The design of the device is optimal for creating hydraulic cavitation; however, in this case, acoustic oscillations are generated in the system and resonance occurs. In this study, the optimal design of this device was determined for the subsequent design of a cavitation reactor. The diameter of the resonant chamber was varied in the range from 28.3 to 47.5 mm, and its length from 6 to 14 mm; in addition, the diameter of the outlet was changed from 6.1 to 6.3 mm. Based on the experimental data obtained, it was found that the optimal ratio of the length of the resonator chamber to the diameter of the inlet nozzle is 1.73, and the inner diameter of the resonator chamber to the diameter of the inlet nozzle corresponds to 5.5. Improving the technology of agricultural waste disposal will ensure their maximum involvement in economic circulation, reduce the consumption of traditional fuel and energy resources, and improve the technological and machine-building base, which makes it possible to produce competitive cavitation reactors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Agricultural Engineering Technologies and Application)
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17 pages, 950 KiB  
Article
Conservation Tillage Technology: A Study on the Duration from Awareness to Adoption and Its Influencing Factors—Based on the Survey of the Yellow River Basin in China
by Tianzhi Gao, Yaqin Ren, Qian Lu and Hui Feng
Agriculture 2023, 13(6), 1207; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13061207 - 7 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 988
Abstract
Studying the dynamic duration of technology adoption helps farmers weigh and select different attributes and stages of conservation tillage techniques. In this study, non-parametric K-M survival analysis and discrete duration models were employed to estimate the time taken by farmers in the Yellow [...] Read more.
Studying the dynamic duration of technology adoption helps farmers weigh and select different attributes and stages of conservation tillage techniques. In this study, non-parametric K-M survival analysis and discrete duration models were employed to estimate the time taken by farmers in the Yellow River Basin region to transition from awareness to the adoption of conservation tillage techniques between 2002 and 2020. The results indicate (1) The duration from awareness to adoption of conservation tillage technology is relatively short. (2) The likelihood of farmers postponing adoption decisions is highest in the initial 10 years and gradually decreases over time, suggesting negative time dependency. (3) Controlling for proportional hazards assumptions, it was found that factors such as education level and social learning positively influence the duration from awareness to adoption of conservation tillage techniques. Extreme weather variations and household labor migration delay the adoption time for farmers. In the process of promoting and implementing conservation tillage techniques, it is essential to consider the issue of intertemporal technology choice, stimulate farmers’ intrinsic demand, shorten the time interval from awareness to adoption, and ultimately improve technology adoption rates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Agricultural Engineering Technologies and Application)
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13 pages, 5165 KiB  
Article
Dynamic Cutting Performance Test and Parameter Optimization of Longicorn Bionic Blade for Industrial Hemp Harvester
by Kunpeng Tian, Bin Zhang, Cheng Shen, Haolu Liu, Jicheng Huang and Aimin Ji
Agriculture 2023, 13(5), 1074; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13051074 - 17 May 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1337
Abstract
In response to the unclear issue of whether the dynamic cutting performance and structural parameters of an industrial hemp blade, which was developed earlier based on the bionic prototype of the batocera horsfieldi, can be optimized in actual working conditions, this paper analyzes [...] Read more.
In response to the unclear issue of whether the dynamic cutting performance and structural parameters of an industrial hemp blade, which was developed earlier based on the bionic prototype of the batocera horsfieldi, can be optimized in actual working conditions, this paper analyzes the effective clamping conditions of a reciprocating double-acting cutting blade for stalks and the cutting motion. To investigate the effect of different structural and motion parameters, as well as their interactions, of the bionic blade on cutting energy consumption, bionic blades with different combinations of tooth pitch and tooth angle were designed. A Box–Behnken response surface method with three factors and three levels was used to design an experimental scheme. Utilizing rigid-flexible coupling numerical simulation technology, numerical simulation experiments were conducted to investigate the cutting performance of industrial hemp stalks using the blade. A regression model for cutting energy consumption was established, and variance analysis indicated that tooth angle, speed ratio, and the interaction between tooth angle and speed ratio had an extremely significant effect on the regression model. The primary and secondary orders of factors affecting cutting energy consumption were determined to be: speed ratio > tooth angle > tooth pitch. Through optimization, the optimal parameter combination was found to be a blade tooth pitch of 6.61 mm, a tooth angle of 30°, and a speed ratio of 1.62. Under these conditions, the cutting energy consumption was 3947.99 mJ. The optimized parameters were verified through numerical simulation cutting experiments, and the results showed that the error compared with the optimization results was only 8.16%. This indicates that the optimization results have high credibility and further verifies the reliability of the model. This study can provide a reference for the development of cutting devices for industrial hemp harvesters and the selection of motion parameters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Agricultural Engineering Technologies and Application)
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13 pages, 3900 KiB  
Article
Research on the Flexible Heating Model of an Air-Source Heat Pump System in Nursery Pig Houses
by Hua Wang, Jijun Liu, Zhonghong Wu, Jia Liu, Lu Yi, Yixue Li, Siqi Li and Meizhi Wang
Agriculture 2023, 13(5), 1059; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13051059 - 15 May 2023
Viewed by 1143
Abstract
Maximizing the utilization of renewable energy for heating is crucial for reducing energy consumption in pig houses and enhancing energy efficiency. However, the mismatch between peak solar radiation and peak heat load demand in nursery pig houses results in energy waste. Therefore, we [...] Read more.
Maximizing the utilization of renewable energy for heating is crucial for reducing energy consumption in pig houses and enhancing energy efficiency. However, the mismatch between peak solar radiation and peak heat load demand in nursery pig houses results in energy waste. Therefore, we investigated a flexible air-source heat pump system (F-ASHP) based on the hourly-scale energy transfer of solar energy. A theoretical calculation model for F-ASHPs in pig houses in the heating areas of northern China has been established through on-site testing and Simulink. This study investigated the heat storage and release of four energy storage materials in pens and the variation in heat load in the house, validating the accuracy of the model. The results show that the F-ASHP can effectively match the peak solar heat and peak heat load in the house. Among the four energy storage materials in pens, the magnesium oxide heat storage brick material performed the best. During intermittent solar periods, it released 3319.20 kJ of heat, reducing the heat load in the pig house by 10.1% compared with that by the air-source heat pump (ASHP). This study provides a theoretical model for flexible heating calculations in pig houses in northern China and aims to serve as a valuable resource for selecting energy-storage pens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Agricultural Engineering Technologies and Application)
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20 pages, 6571 KiB  
Article
Effect of Rotary Speed on Soil and Straw Throwing Process by Stubble-Crushing Blade for Strip Tillage Using DEM-CFD
by Yiwen Yuan, Jiayi Wang, Xin Zhang and Shuhong Zhao
Agriculture 2023, 13(4), 877; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13040877 - 15 Apr 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1578
Abstract
Strip tillage is a widely used land preparation approach for effective straw management in conservation agriculture. Understanding the dynamic throwing process during the stubble-crushing operation has important implications for seedbed preparation. However, the airflow generated by the high-speed rotation of stubble-crushing blades has [...] Read more.
Strip tillage is a widely used land preparation approach for effective straw management in conservation agriculture. Understanding the dynamic throwing process during the stubble-crushing operation has important implications for seedbed preparation. However, the airflow generated by the high-speed rotation of stubble-crushing blades has yet to be considered. We established a coupled DEM-CFD simulation model and explored the dynamic motion of soil particles varied with their initial depth (at 0, 20, 40, 60, 80 mm depth) and surface straw under different blade rotary speeds (270, 540, 720, and 810 rpm) based on the model. The coupled model simulation results were proved to be well correlated with the field test results by the field high-speed camera test. The simulation results showed that airflow had a significant effect on the longitudinal displacement of straw (p < 0.05). An increase in rotary speed could increase the longitudinal and lateral throwing displacement of soil particles and straw and increase the blade–soil–straw interaction, while there was no directional effect on the vertical motion. The lateral movement of soil particles decreased with increasing soil particle depth. The stubble-crushing operation allowed the exchange of deep and shallow soil layers, as well as the burial of straw. Plain, straight stubble-crushing blades with a rotary speed of 540 rpm were able to form the optimal seeding row with a width of 80.86 mm. The simulation results were useful for assessing the design solutions of high-speed rotational tools and evaluating seedbed preparation practices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Agricultural Engineering Technologies and Application)
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17 pages, 4037 KiB  
Article
Robust Trajectory Tracking Control of an Autonomous Tractor-Trailer Considering Model Parameter Uncertainties and Disturbances
by En Lu, Jialin Xue, Tiaotiao Chen and Song Jiang
Agriculture 2023, 13(4), 869; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13040869 - 14 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1663
Abstract
This paper discusses the robust trajectory tracking control of an autonomous tractor-trailer in agricultural applications. Firstly, considering the model parameter uncertainties and various disturbances, the kinematic and dynamic models of the autonomous tractor-trailer system are established. Moreover, the coordinate transformation is adopted to [...] Read more.
This paper discusses the robust trajectory tracking control of an autonomous tractor-trailer in agricultural applications. Firstly, considering the model parameter uncertainties and various disturbances, the kinematic and dynamic models of the autonomous tractor-trailer system are established. Moreover, the coordinate transformation is adopted to convert the trajectory tracking error into a new unconstrained error state space model. On this basis, the prescribed performance control (PPC) technique is designed to ensure the convergence speed and final tracking control accuracy of the tractor-trailer control system. Then, this paper designs a double closed-loop control structure. The posture control level adopts the model predictive control (MPC) method, and the dynamic level adopts the sliding mode control (SMC) method. At the same time, it is worth mentioning that the nonlinear disturbance observer (NDO) is designed to estimate all kinds of system disturbances and compensate for the tracking control system to improve the system’s robustness. Finally, the proposed control strategy is validated through comparative simulations, demonstrating its effectiveness in achieving robust trajectory tracking of the autonomous tractor-trailer system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Agricultural Engineering Technologies and Application)
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18 pages, 10771 KiB  
Article
Advancement in Agriculture Approaches with Agrivoltaics Natural Cooling in Large Scale Solar PV Farms
by Noor Fadzlinda Othman, Mohammad Effendy Ya’acob, Li Lu, Ahmad Hakiim Jamaluddin, Ahmad Suhaizi Mat Su, Hashim Hizam, Rosnah Shamsudin and Juju Nakasha Jaafar
Agriculture 2023, 13(4), 854; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13040854 - 12 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2040
Abstract
The increasing concerns about the impact of large-scale solar photovoltaic farms on the environment and the energy crisis have raised many questions. This issue is mainly addressed by the integration of agriculture advancement in solar photovoltaic systems infrastructure facilities, commonly known as agrivoltaic. [...] Read more.
The increasing concerns about the impact of large-scale solar photovoltaic farms on the environment and the energy crisis have raised many questions. This issue is mainly addressed by the integration of agriculture advancement in solar photovoltaic systems infrastructure facilities, commonly known as agrivoltaic. Through the use of these systems, the production of crops can be increased, and the efficiency of PV panels can be improved. Accordingly, adopting such synergistic paths forward can contribute toward building resilient energy-generation and food-production systems. The utilization of cooling techniques can provide a potential solution for the excessive heating of PV cells and lower cell temperatures. Effective cooling applied to PV cells significantly improves their electrical efficiency, as well as increasing their lifespan because of decreasing thermal stresses. This paper shares an overview of both active and passive cooling approaches in solar PV applications with an emphasis on newly developed agrivoltaic natural cooling systems. Actual data analysis at the 2 MWp Puchong agrivoltaic farm shows a significant value of 3% increase of the DC generation (on average) which is most beneficial to solar farm operators. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Agricultural Engineering Technologies and Application)
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18 pages, 4562 KiB  
Article
The Development of an LSTM Model to Predict Time Series Missing Data of Air Temperature inside Fattening Pig Houses
by Jun-gyu Kim, Sang-yeon Lee and In-bok Lee
Agriculture 2023, 13(4), 795; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13040795 - 30 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1537
Abstract
Because of the poor environment inside fattening pig houses due to high humidity, ammonia gas, and fine dust, it is hard to accumulate reliable long-term data using sensors. Therefore, it is necessary to conduct research for filling in the missing environmental data inside [...] Read more.
Because of the poor environment inside fattening pig houses due to high humidity, ammonia gas, and fine dust, it is hard to accumulate reliable long-term data using sensors. Therefore, it is necessary to conduct research for filling in the missing environmental data inside fattening pig houses. Thus, this research aimed to develop a model for predicting the missing data of the air temperature inside fattening pig houses using a long short-term memory (LSTM) model, which is one of the artificial neural networks (ANNs). Firstly, the internal and external environmental data of the fattening pig house were monitored to develop the LSTM models for data filling of the missing data and to validate the developed LSTM model. The LSTM model for data filling of the missing data was developed by learning the measured temperature inside the pig house. The LSTM model developed in this study was validated by comparing the air temperature data predicted by the LSTM model with the air temperature data measured in the fattening pig house. The LSTM model was accurate within a 3.5% error rate for the internal air temperature. Finally, the accuracy and applicability of the developed LSTM model were evaluated according to the order of learning data and the length of the missing data. In the future, for information and communication technologies (ICTs) and the convergence and application of smart farms, the LSTM models developed in this study may contribute to the accumulation of reliable long-term data at the fattening pig house. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Agricultural Engineering Technologies and Application)
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17 pages, 1179 KiB  
Article
Effect of Traditional Spices on the Quality and Antioxidant Potential of Paneer Prepared from Buffalo Milk
by Tahir Mahmood Qureshi, Muhammad Nadeem, Javeria Iftikhar, Salim-ur-Rehman, Sobhy M. Ibrahim, Faizan Majeed and Muhammad Sultan
Agriculture 2023, 13(2), 491; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13020491 - 19 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2032
Abstract
This study aims to evaluate the effect of different spices (black pepper, cumin, clove, nigella, cardamom, and cinnamon) on the physicochemical characteristics and microbial quality, as well as antioxidant potential, of paneer during storage. Different types of spices were incorporated into the paneer [...] Read more.
This study aims to evaluate the effect of different spices (black pepper, cumin, clove, nigella, cardamom, and cinnamon) on the physicochemical characteristics and microbial quality, as well as antioxidant potential, of paneer during storage. Different types of spices were incorporated into the paneer at different levels (0.2 and 0.3%). In addition to paneer, the antioxidant potential of spices was also investigated. The results concerning total plate counts (TPC) or yeast and molds (Y & M) (log10 CFU/g) of all treatments were substantially (p < 0.05) increased during storage. Generally, all freshly prepared spicy paneer and control had higher sensory scores for all the sensory characteristics which declined during subsequent storage. All the paneer samples having 0.3% spices showed very slight variations (nonsignificant) in sensory score of all the attributes of their relative samples containing 0.2% spice. The incorporation of spices into the paneer matrix also showed promising results concerning all the above-mentioned attributes revealing antioxidant potential. There was significant (p < 0.05) effect of treatments and storage days on antioxidant potential of paneer. The freshly prepared control paneer (P0) showed the lowest total phenol (TP), total flavonoids (TF), 2, 2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), reducing power (RP), and total antioxidant capacity (TAC) values compared to all the spicy paneer (treatments). The freshly prepared control paneer (P0) showed the lowest antioxidant potential compared to all the spicy paneer (treatments). The maximum antioxidant potential was observed in the paneer having 0.3% clove (P6). All the spicy paneer showed increasing trend of all the attributes, showing antioxidant potential up to 6 days of storage, but afterwards, the activities were slightly decreased. It may be concluded that spicy paneer would be considered as a functional dairy product with enhanced sensory and antioxidant properties, and shelf stability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Agricultural Engineering Technologies and Application)
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17 pages, 5062 KiB  
Article
Experimental and Numerical Simulations of a Solar Air Heater for Maximal Value Addition to Agricultural Products
by Zuhair Qamar, Anjum Munir, Timothy Langrish, Abdul Ghafoor and Muhammad Tahir
Agriculture 2023, 13(2), 387; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13020387 - 6 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1742
Abstract
Agriculture is the backbone of Pakistan’s economy. Currently, the agricultural sector is facing many challenges, especially post-harvest losses, which result in lower yield and profitability. These losses may be reduced by developing indigenous post-harvest processing technologies, such as drying out of agricultural products [...] Read more.
Agriculture is the backbone of Pakistan’s economy. Currently, the agricultural sector is facing many challenges, especially post-harvest losses, which result in lower yield and profitability. These losses may be reduced by developing indigenous post-harvest processing technologies, such as drying out of agricultural products to enhancement of their sustainability and reduce transportation costs. The country has the advantage of an abundant amount of solar insulation, which can be effectively utilized to operate post-harvest machinery, particularly solar heaters and dryers. Currently, conventional solar heaters face challenges due to lower efficiencies. Therefore, in this study, a solar air heater (SAH), having a size 1220 × 610 × 65 mm, was designed and developed to be connected to a milk powder spray drying system for converting raw milk to powder. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) were used to anticipate air flow and temperature distribution across the SAH to evaluate optimal performance parameters. An air mass flow rate of 0.01 kgs−1 was required, with the CFD predicting an outlet temperature of 82 °C compared with the experimental observation of 73 °C. The pressure drop across the SAH was recorded to be 0.0000434 bar at this flow rate, which is negligible, with the SAH operating near ambient pressure. The overall heat loss coefficient for convection was 2.27 W. m −2·K−1. The energy losses from the SAH were 37% and the useful energy was 63% of the total energy provided to the SAH. The breakeven point of SAH at a minimum of 4 h of daily usage was 3700 h or 2.5 years. The solar air heater used as a preheater for a spray dryer can save 30 PKR·kWh−1 of energy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Agricultural Engineering Technologies and Application)
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20 pages, 20452 KiB  
Article
Attention-Based Fine-Grained Lightweight Architecture for Fuji Apple Maturity Classification in an Open-World Orchard Environment
by Li Zhang, Qun Hao and Jie Cao
Agriculture 2023, 13(2), 228; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13020228 - 17 Jan 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2174
Abstract
Fuji apples are one of the most important and popular economic crops worldwide in the fruit industry. Nowadays, there is a huge imbalance between the urgent demand of precise automated sorting models of fruit ripeness grades due to the increasing consumption levels and [...] Read more.
Fuji apples are one of the most important and popular economic crops worldwide in the fruit industry. Nowadays, there is a huge imbalance between the urgent demand of precise automated sorting models of fruit ripeness grades due to the increasing consumption levels and the limitations of most existing methods. In this regard, this paper presents a novel CNN-based fine-grained lightweight architecture for the task of Fuji apple maturity classification (FGAL-MC). Our proposed FGAL-MC architecture has three advantages compared with related previous research works. Firstly, we established a novel Fuji apple maturity dataset. We investigated the Fuji apple’s different growth stages using image samples that were captured in open-world orchard environments, which have the benefit of being able to guide the related methods to be more suitable for the practical working environment. Secondly, because maturity grades are difficult to discriminate due to the issues of subtle expression differences, as well as the various challenging disadvantages for the unstructured surroundings, we designed our network as a fine-grained classification architecture by introducing an attention mechanism to learn class-specific regions and discrimination. Thirdly, because the number of parameters of an architecture determines the time-cost and hardware configuration to some extent, we designed our proposed architecture as a lightweight structure, which is able to be applied or promoted for actual agriculture field operations. Finally, comprehensive qualitative and quantitative experiments demonstrated that our presented method can achieve competitive results in terms of accuracy, precision, recall, F1-score, and time-cost. In addition, extensive experiments indicated our proposed method also has outstanding performance in terms of generalization ability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Agricultural Engineering Technologies and Application)
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14 pages, 15201 KiB  
Article
Design and Simulations of a Self-Assembling Autonomous Vertical Farm for Urban Farming
by Bhanu Watawana and Mats Isaksson
Agriculture 2023, 13(1), 112; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13010112 - 30 Dec 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2730
Abstract
Vertical farming has been proposed as a solution for diminishing arable land as it significantly reduces the footprint of farming. Most contemporary solutions use a low level of automation; however, automation of vertical farming is currently attracting attention from researchers. This paper introduces [...] Read more.
Vertical farming has been proposed as a solution for diminishing arable land as it significantly reduces the footprint of farming. Most contemporary solutions use a low level of automation; however, automation of vertical farming is currently attracting attention from researchers. This paper introduces a conceptual design for an autonomous vertical farm where the main novelty is the self-assembling feature. The proposed system is designed to be installed and used by a non-specialist. The system is designed for cost minimisation, using one set of resources moved by a robot arm to service the plants. These resources include sensors, a depth camera, and the required farming tools. The farm has the capacity of self-powering, greenhouse conversion, data sharing and learning, and several other features. The paper provides the conceptual design in addition to an analysis of the dimensioning of the robot arm, time studies for operation, and an analysis of the self-powering ability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Agricultural Engineering Technologies and Application)
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14 pages, 5976 KiB  
Article
Feature Extraction on the Difference of Plant Stem Structure Based on Ultrasound Energy
by Danju Lv, Jiali Zi, Xin Huang, Mingyuan Gao, Rui Xi, Wei Li and Ziqian Wang
Agriculture 2023, 13(1), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13010052 - 24 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1904
Abstract
Plant growth is closely related to the structure of its stem. The ultrasonic echo signal of the plant stem carries much information on the stem structure, providing an effective means for analyzing stem structure characteristics. In this paper, we proposed to extract energy [...] Read more.
Plant growth is closely related to the structure of its stem. The ultrasonic echo signal of the plant stem carries much information on the stem structure, providing an effective means for analyzing stem structure characteristics. In this paper, we proposed to extract energy features of ultrasonic echo signals to study the structure of the plant stem. Firstly, it is found that there are obvious different ultrasonic energy changes in different kinds of plant stems whether in the time domain or the frequency domain. Then, we proposed a feature extraction method, density energy feature, to better depict the interspecific differences of the plant stems. In order to evaluate the extracted 24-dimensional features of the ultrasound, the information gain method and correlation evaluation method were adopted to compute their contributions. The results showed that the mean density, an improved feature, was the most significant contributing feature in the four living plant stems. Finally, the top three features in the feature contribution were selected, and each two of them composed as 2-D feature maps, which have significant differentiation of the stem species, especially for grass and wood stems. The above research shows that the ultrasonic energy features of plant stems can provide a new perspective for the study of distinguishing the structural differences among plant stem species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Agricultural Engineering Technologies and Application)
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21 pages, 59357 KiB  
Article
Development and Application of a Crossed Multi-Arch Greenhouse in Tropical China
by Jian Liu, Xuyong Wu, Fangyuan Sun and Baolong Wang
Agriculture 2022, 12(12), 2164; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12122164 - 15 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 4053
Abstract
Deep analysis and demonstration of the developed crossed multi-arch greenhouse were conducted from the perspectives of conceptual design, architectural and structural design, functional design, loading parameters, and structural internal forces. The results show that the crossed multi-arch greenhouse combines the ventilation area between [...] Read more.
Deep analysis and demonstration of the developed crossed multi-arch greenhouse were conducted from the perspectives of conceptual design, architectural and structural design, functional design, loading parameters, and structural internal forces. The results show that the crossed multi-arch greenhouse combines the ventilation area between the floor-standing round-arch greenhouse and the unsuitable operation area under the arch bars into one to form a multi-span crossed arch structure with good ventilation and heat dissipation, land savings, and fine mechanical behaviors. The main arch structure uses 32.4% less steel and 25% less foundation volume than the control greenhouse under the same load, which can save about CNY 10,184.00/667m2 of investment according to the current cost level. In the meantime, ventilation simulation analysis of the developed crossed multi-arch greenhouse was carried out using the software Design Builder. A comparison shows that, under the condition of no wind and breeze (1 m/s) in summer, the setting of the ventilation channel has obvious advantages for the heat dissipation of the greenhouse, and the average temperature is about 2 °C lower than that of the greenhouse without a ventilation channel; under the breeze condition, the temperature in the crossed multi-arch greenhouse is more evenly distributed than that of an ordinary round-arch greenhouse with ventilation channels. Considering the greenhouse function, building cost, using effect, and other evaluation factors, the crossed multi-arch greenhouse can meet the production environment requirements of tropical coastal areas (rain protection, sunshade, and ventilation), with obvious structural advantages, good typhoon resistance, and low construction costs, which is a preferable choice of greenhouse type. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Agricultural Engineering Technologies and Application)
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14 pages, 7272 KiB  
Article
Effects of Uplift Resistance on Continuous-Pipe-Foundation of Single-Span Plastic Greenhouse by Steel Plate Pipe Connector
by Myeonghwan Kim
Agriculture 2022, 12(12), 1998; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12121998 - 24 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1185
Abstract
The single-span plastic greenhouses are affected by strong winds which generate uplift resistance causing the bending of members, damage to protective films, and damage to crops. This study performed a field test using the static axial tensile load method to present basic data [...] Read more.
The single-span plastic greenhouses are affected by strong winds which generate uplift resistance causing the bending of members, damage to protective films, and damage to crops. This study performed a field test using the static axial tensile load method to present basic data to prevent damage to a single-span plastic greenhouse. Three representative areas were selected, and the effects of pipe connectors, rafter spacing, and embedding depth were tested. In the field test results, it was found to be greatly affected by the pipe connector. The pull-out resistance at the site fixed by welding instead of the pipe connector was measured as 4.5 times the sliding resistance standard value of the Rural Development Administration. In other sites, the measurement was below the standard value of the sliding resistance of the pipe connector. It was confirmed that the uplift resistance is determined by the sliding resistance of the pipe connector, the rafters, and the crossbar pipe. Therefore, it seems possible to increase the uplift resistance of a single-span plastic greenhouses continuous foundation through the reinforcement of the pipe connector. The field test results can be utilized as basic data for the reinforcement of the commercialization of single-span plastic greenhouses and new standards. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Agricultural Engineering Technologies and Application)
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23 pages, 882 KiB  
Article
Is the Rural Population Caught in the Whirlwind of the Digital Divide?
by Hayet Kerras, María Francisca Rosique Contreras, Susana Bautista and María Dolores de-Miguel Gómez
Agriculture 2022, 12(12), 1976; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12121976 - 22 Nov 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1946
Abstract
Technology represents a benchmark ally for today’s rural world and is a sine qua non-condition for achieving sustainable development. Indeed, today the arrival of digitization and information and communication tools makes life easier for the inhabitants of the rural world in general and [...] Read more.
Technology represents a benchmark ally for today’s rural world and is a sine qua non-condition for achieving sustainable development. Indeed, today the arrival of digitization and information and communication tools makes life easier for the inhabitants of the rural world in general and for those who work in agriculture. However, not everyone has and knows how to use these technologies. There are very visible differences between the rural world and the urban one in the accessibility and use of technology, especially among vulnerable people (unemployed, elderly, women, etc.), causing a digital divide that reflects the great discrimination suffered by the rural world, full of stereotypes and very traditional role assignments. The objective of this study is to evaluate the differences in terms of access and use of technology. For this reason, the results of a survey carried out on the Spanish rural population have been analyzed with the structural equations tool “PLS-SEM”. They show digital gaps, as well as a disturbance between the different gaps and the socioeconomic situation of users, which imposes the need to take immediate measures to reduce and fight against this type of inequality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Agricultural Engineering Technologies and Application)
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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 4 | Viewed by 2294
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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18 pages, 8169 KiB  
Article
Lightweight Corn Seed Disease Identification Method Based on Improved ShuffleNetV2
by Lu Lu, Wei Liu, Wenbo Yang, Manyu Zhao and Tinghao Jiang
Agriculture 2022, 12(11), 1929; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12111929 - 17 Nov 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2442
Abstract
Assessing the quality of agricultural products is an essential step to reduce food waste. The problems of overly complex models, difficult to deploy to mobile devices, and slow real-time detection in the application of deep learning in agricultural product quality assessment requiring solutions. [...] Read more.
Assessing the quality of agricultural products is an essential step to reduce food waste. The problems of overly complex models, difficult to deploy to mobile devices, and slow real-time detection in the application of deep learning in agricultural product quality assessment requiring solutions. This paper proposes a lightweight method based on ShuffleNetV2 to identify phenotypic diseases in corn seeds and conduct experiments on a corn seed dataset. Firstly, Cycle-Consistent Adversarial Networks are used to solve the problem of unbalanced datasets, while the Efficient Channel Attention module is added to enhance network performance. After this, a 7×7 depthwise convolution is used to increase the effective receptive field of the network. The repetitions of basic units in ShuffleNetV2 are also reduced to lighten the network structure. Finally, experimental results indicate that the number of model parameters are 0.913 M, the computational volume is 44.75 MFLOPs and 88.5 MMAdd, and the recognition accuracy is 96.28%. The inference speed of about 9.71 ms for each image was tested on a mobile portable laptop with only a single CPU, which provides a reference for mobile deployment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Agricultural Engineering Technologies and Application)
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17 pages, 4843 KiB  
Article
Calibration and Test of Contact Parameters between Chopped Cotton Stalks Using Response Surface Methodology
by Bingcheng Zhang, Xuegeng Chen, Rongqing Liang, Xinzhong Wang, Hewei Meng and Za Kan
Agriculture 2022, 12(11), 1851; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12111851 - 4 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1923
Abstract
The accuracy of the material parameter settings directly affects the reliability of the results of the discrete element method simulation. It is necessary to calibrate the relevant parameters to obtain accurate discrete element simulation results when separating the cotton stalk particles from the [...] Read more.
The accuracy of the material parameter settings directly affects the reliability of the results of the discrete element method simulation. It is necessary to calibrate the relevant parameters to obtain accurate discrete element simulation results when separating the cotton stalk particles from the residual film after crushing. The repose angle of the chopped cotton stalk particles was used as the response value to calibrate the contact parameters between particles. Physical tests measured the intrinsic particle and contact parameters between the cotton stalk particles and the contact material, which provided data for the simulation tests. According to the biological structure characteristics of cotton stalk, the discrete element method model of cotton stalk particles was constructed by bonding the elements of nonequal-diameter basic particles. Based on the response surface methodology, the stacking test of particles was simulated. The response model between the contact parameters and repose angle was established, and the effect law of the single-factor terms and interaction terms on the repose angle was analyzed. The optimal combination of contact parameters was obtained through the single-objective and multi-variable optimization methods. Finally, the contact parameter combination was verified by a simulation test of the repose angle. The results showed that the average relative error of the repose angle between the simulation test and the physical test was 1.04%, which verified the accuracy of the calibrated contact parameters and the reliability of the simulation test. These parameters provide a basis for the discrete element simulation study of cotton stalk motion in the separation process of cotton stalks and residual film and the subsequent gas–solid coupling simulation research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Agricultural Engineering Technologies and Application)
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14 pages, 2488 KiB  
Article
Numerical Study of Pneumatic Conveying of Rapeseed through a Pipe Bend by DEM-CFD
by Yao Xiao, Zitao Ma, Mingliang Wu and Haifeng Luo
Agriculture 2022, 12(11), 1845; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12111845 - 3 Nov 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1442
Abstract
In the wide-width and high-speed operation of the rapeseed air-feeding planter, the air-feeding seed metering system adopts the top-down seed tube of different structural types in the production process, thus leading to significant differences in the discharge consistency and breakage rate of the [...] Read more.
In the wide-width and high-speed operation of the rapeseed air-feeding planter, the air-feeding seed metering system adopts the top-down seed tube of different structural types in the production process, thus leading to significant differences in the discharge consistency and breakage rate of the respective row in the seeding process. Thus, the corrugated, hole-type, and ordinary round-tube seed tubes were taken as the research objects for this study, and virtual walls were introduced to compare and analyze the movement of seeds after collision with the seed tubes that had different wall structures. The effects of three types of seed tubes on the motion characteristics of seed particles were analyzed using DEM-CFD gas-solid coupling, and the simulation results were verified through bench experiments. The results indicated that when the inlet velocity was 16 m/s, and there was no material; the average error between the simulated value and the examined value of the airflow velocity at the same point of the vertical conveying pipe of the ordinary round-tube seed tube was 6.71%, thus verifying the feasibility of the simulation model built establishment of this study; when the inlet airflow velocity was 16 m/s and the seed particles were generated at the same per second, both the corrugated and hole-type seed tubes had a surge in airflow speed in the elbow part, and the highest airflow of the corrugated and hole-type pipes the velocities were 32.48 and 26.20 m/s, respectively. The corrugated and hole-type structure significantly affected the airflow field characteristics in the seed tube; the corrugated and hole-type seed tubes significantly improved the stable delivery of seeds, and the speed and force of the seeds were similar “sinusoidal fluctuation”, and the stagnation time of the seeds in the ordinary round-tube, corrugated, and hole-type seed tubes were 0.3, 0.38, and 0.48 s, respectively, and the seed velocities at the outlet were 5.18, 1.73, and 3.76 m/s, respectively. This study provides a reference for the optimization of the structure of the seed tube of the air-feeding seed metering system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Agricultural Engineering Technologies and Application)
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16 pages, 5190 KiB  
Article
The Design of a Mechanized Onion Transplanter for Bangladesh with Functional Testing
by Spencer Stubbs and Jonathan Colton
Agriculture 2022, 12(11), 1790; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12111790 - 28 Oct 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2386
Abstract
Rising labor costs and the inefficient manual methods of cultivating red onions in Bangladesh contribute to the country’s failure to meet is own demand. Mechanizing the process of transplanting red onion seedlings will reduce the manual labor required while increasing crop yields. This [...] Read more.
Rising labor costs and the inefficient manual methods of cultivating red onions in Bangladesh contribute to the country’s failure to meet is own demand. Mechanizing the process of transplanting red onion seedlings will reduce the manual labor required while increasing crop yields. This paper provides an initial study of a proposed mechanized onion transplanter designed to attach to the back side of a two-wheel tractor with power tiller operated-seeder, commonly used in Bangladesh. Testing of a prototype made from these designs proves that the design is functional but requires further development for commercial/widespread use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Agricultural Engineering Technologies and Application)
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16 pages, 5719 KiB  
Article
Study on the Hydraulic and Energy Loss Characteristics of the Agricultural Pumping Station Caused by Hydraulic Structures
by Weixuan Jiao, Zhishuang Li, Li Cheng, Yuqi Wang and Bowen Zhang
Agriculture 2022, 12(11), 1770; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12111770 - 25 Oct 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1600
Abstract
The pumping station is an important part of the agricultural irrigation and drainage system. The sump is one of the common water inlet types of agricultural pumping stations. In the sump, to facilitate the installation and maintenance of equipment, some hydraulic structures, such [...] Read more.
The pumping station is an important part of the agricultural irrigation and drainage system. The sump is one of the common water inlet types of agricultural pumping stations. In the sump, to facilitate the installation and maintenance of equipment, some hydraulic structures, such as pump beams, maintenance platforms and chest walls, are added to the sump. At present, the impact of hydraulic structures in the sump on the hydraulic performance of the pump device is not clear, so this paper focused on the impact of hydraulic structures on the hydraulic characteristics and entropy generation characteristics of the pump device by using numerical simulation methods. The results showed that the installation of hydraulic structures in the sump has the greatest impact on the efficiency of the pump device. The efficiency coefficient increased after adding a pump beam in the sump and decreased by about 2% after adding a maintenance platform and a water retaining chest wall. Results also showed that the installation of hydraulic structures in the sump will lead to uneven distribution of entropy generation in the sump, especially in the vicinity of the hydraulic structures. The installation of the maintenance platform and chest wall will lead to the increase of the total entropy generation in the sump, which also means that the hydraulic loss in the sump will increase accordingly. Hence, in addition to the pump beam, other structures should be avoided in the sump. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Agricultural Engineering Technologies and Application)
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18 pages, 2842 KiB  
Article
Smart Operation of Climatic Systems in a Greenhouse
by Aurora González-Vidal, José Mendoza-Bernal, Alfonso P. Ramallo, Miguel Ángel Zamora, Vicente Martínez and Antonio F. Skarmeta
Agriculture 2022, 12(10), 1729; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12101729 - 19 Oct 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2705
Abstract
The purpose of our work is to leverage the use of artificial intelligence for the emergence of smart greenhouses. Greenhouse agriculture is a sustainable solution for food crises and therefore data-based decision-support mechanisms are needed to optimally use them. Our study anticipates how [...] Read more.
The purpose of our work is to leverage the use of artificial intelligence for the emergence of smart greenhouses. Greenhouse agriculture is a sustainable solution for food crises and therefore data-based decision-support mechanisms are needed to optimally use them. Our study anticipates how the combination of climatic systems will affect the temperature and humidity of the greenhouse. More specifically, our methodology anticipates if a set-point will be reached in a given time by a combination of climatic systems and estimates the humidity at that time. We performed exhaustive data analytics processing that includes the interpolation of missing values and data augmentation, and tested several classification and regression algorithms. Our method can predict with a 90% accuracy if, under current conditions, a combination of climatic systems will reach a fixed temperature set-point, and it is also able to estimate the humidity with a 2.83% CVRMSE. We integrated our methodology on a three-layer holistic IoT platform that is able to collect, fuse and analyze real data in a seamless way. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Agricultural Engineering Technologies and Application)
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26 pages, 4645 KiB  
Article
Development of Heat Stress Forecasting System in Mechanically Ventilated Broiler House Using Dynamic Energy Simulation
by Jeong-Hwa Cho, In-Bok Lee, Sang-Yeon Lee, Se-Jun Park, Deuk-Young Jeong, Cristina Decano-Valentin, Jun-Gyu Kim, Young-Bae Choi, Hyo-Hyeog Jeong, Uk-Hyeon Yeo and Seung-Jae Lee
Agriculture 2022, 12(10), 1666; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12101666 - 11 Oct 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2613
Abstract
The internal rearing environment of livestock houses has become an important issue in the last few years due to the rapid increase in meat consumption. As the number of days of heat waves increase continuously, problems caused by abnormal weather changes steadily occurred. [...] Read more.
The internal rearing environment of livestock houses has become an important issue in the last few years due to the rapid increase in meat consumption. As the number of days of heat waves increase continuously, problems caused by abnormal weather changes steadily occurred. Thus, the main goal of this study is to develop a technology that can automatically calculate heat stress for livestock by considering weather forecast data. Specifically, a web-based heat stress forecasting system for the evaluation of heat stress in broilers was developed. The field experiments were carried out at the selected broiler house to measure and analyze the external weather, the internal environment, and the ventilation flow rate of fans used in tunnel ventilation. The developed model was validated by comparing the field and simulated thermal environment values. Based on a reliable model, Land-Atmosphere Modeling Package (LAMP) weather forecast data was used to show the stress index on the internal rearing environment with a heat stress index suitable for South Korea. When the users input the farm location, structure and equipment, and rearing information, users responded after receiving heat stress from the broiler raised in a mechanically ventilated broiler house. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Agricultural Engineering Technologies and Application)
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14 pages, 2256 KiB  
Article
Experiment of Canopy Leaf Area Density Estimation Method Based on Ultrasonic Echo Signal
by Mingxiong Ou, Tianhang Hu, Mingshuo Hu, Shuai Yang, Weidong Jia, Ming Wang, Li Jiang, Xiaowen Wang and Xiang Dong
Agriculture 2022, 12(10), 1569; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12101569 - 28 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1451
Abstract
Variable-rate spray systems with canopy leaf area density information detection are an important approach to reducing pesticide usage in orchard management. In order to estimate the canopy leaf area density using ultrasonic sensors, this article proposed three parameter model equations based on ultrasonic [...] Read more.
Variable-rate spray systems with canopy leaf area density information detection are an important approach to reducing pesticide usage in orchard management. In order to estimate the canopy leaf area density using ultrasonic sensors, this article proposed three parameter model equations based on ultrasonic echo peaks for canopy leaf area density estimation and verified the accuracy of the three parameter model equations using laboratory-simulated canopy and outdoor tree experiments. The orthogonal regression statistics results from the laboratory-simulated canopy experiment indicated that parameter Vc is more suitable for canopy leaf area density estimation compared to parameter Va and Vb when the density ranges from 0.54 to 5.4 m2m3. The model equation from parameter Vc has minor systematic errors, and the predicted and observed values of parameter Vc have good agreement with the experimental conditions. The laboratory-simulated canopy and outdoor tree canopy leaf area density verification experiments of parameter Vc were carried out, and the results indicated that the absolute value of the mean relative error is 5.37% in the laboratory-simulated canopy and 2.84% in outdoor tree experiments. The maximum absolute value of the relative error is 8.61% in the laboratory-simulated canopy and 14.71% in the outdoor tree experiments, and the minimum absolute value of the relative error is 3.21% in the laboratory-simulated canopy and 0.56% in the outdoor tree experiments. The laboratory-simulated canopy leaf area density verification results showed that the mean relative errors under canopy leaf area density 0.98 and 4.92 m2m3 conditions are 6.29% and 5.82%, respectively, which is larger than the mean relative error under 2.95 m2m3; nevertheless, these results proved that this model equation is applicable for canopy information detection and advanced pesticide application development in future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Agricultural Engineering Technologies and Application)
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21 pages, 14212 KiB  
Article
Study on the Intercropping Mechanism and Seeding Improvement of the Cavity Planter with Vertical Insertion Using DEM-MBD Coupling Method
by Linrong Shi, Wuyun Zhao, Chengting Hua, Gang Rao, Junhai Guo and Zun Wang
Agriculture 2022, 12(10), 1567; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12101567 - 28 Sep 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1736
Abstract
In the dry areas of Northwest China, cavity planters with vertical insertions are used for seeding on film. Due to the uncertain mechanism between cavity planters and maize seeds and soil, research on the cavity planter has been slow. Several theoretical and experimental [...] Read more.
In the dry areas of Northwest China, cavity planters with vertical insertions are used for seeding on film. Due to the uncertain mechanism between cavity planters and maize seeds and soil, research on the cavity planter has been slow. Several theoretical and experimental methods have been developed to investigate the interaction between the cavity planter and maize seeds in soil. These methods enable exploration of the mechanism to reduce soil disturbance and improve seeding performance. However, these methods are unable to predict the dynamic force of tools and soil behavior because of non-linear soil properties. A simulation experiment was conducted using the DEM-MBD coupling method to explore soil disturbance caused by cavity seeders and the resistance to entry. Additionally, the effect of the maize shape and the cavity planter motion on the seed number qualification and the empty cavity rate was investigated. It was proposed that the inverted hook be used to prevent the movement of maize seeds up and down in cavity seeders, thereby improving seed filling performance. Simulations and experiments were conducted, and the results showed that the average empty cavity rate and the seed number qualification were 2.0% and 91.3%, respectively, which met the requirements of the maize sowing standards. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Agricultural Engineering Technologies and Application)
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13 pages, 763 KiB  
Article
The Synergistic Effects of Sonication and Microwave Processing on the Physicochemical Properties and Phytochemicals of Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) Juice
by Maham Navida, Muhammad Nadeem, Tahir Mahmood Qureshi, Rami Adel Pashameah, Faiqa Malik, Aqsa Iqbal, Muhammad Sultan, Hala M. Abo-Dief and Abdullah K. Alanazi
Agriculture 2022, 12(9), 1434; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12091434 - 9 Sep 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2215
Abstract
In recent years, consumers have increasingly demanded nutritious, healthy, and fresh-like food products with high organoleptic quality. Watermelon is rich in water, which is 92% mandatory for body functioning, and contains several vitamins, amino acids, antioxidants, carotenoids, and lycopenes with various health benefits. [...] Read more.
In recent years, consumers have increasingly demanded nutritious, healthy, and fresh-like food products with high organoleptic quality. Watermelon is rich in water, which is 92% mandatory for body functioning, and contains several vitamins, amino acids, antioxidants, carotenoids, and lycopenes with various health benefits. The present study examines the combined effect of ultrasound (US) and microwave (MW) on the physico-chemical and phytochemicals of watermelon juice during storage (up to 120 days). Sonication was employed for different time intervals, particularly from 2 to 8 min at 20 kHz frequency and 525 W power, while microwave was applied at two different time intervals (1 min 50 s and 2 min) at 1000 W power and a frequency of 2450 MHz. The product was stored at 4 °C up to 120 days for further examination. Our results revealed that treatment T5 (10 min ultrasound & 1 min 50 s microwave) manifested the maximum cloud value (3.00), acidity (0.15%), vitamin C content (202.67 mg/100 mL), phenolics (852.57 mgGAE/100 mL), flavonoids (1970.9 µg CE/100 mL), and total antioxidant activity (8650.3 µg equivalent of ascorbic acid/mL of juice). Sonication in combination with microwave proved to be an efficient technique for increasing the antioxidant potential of watermelon juice. Thus, US and MW treatments may be incorporated for enhancing the phytochemical release and shelf life of watermelon juice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Agricultural Engineering Technologies and Application)
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16 pages, 3680 KiB  
Article
Research and Design of Precision Fertilizer Application Control System Based on PSO-BP-PID Algorithm
by Zihao Meng, Lixin Zhang, Huan Wang, Xiao Ma, He Li and Fenglei Zhu
Agriculture 2022, 12(9), 1395; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12091395 - 5 Sep 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1880
Abstract
China has had the highest fertilizer use rate in the world for years, but today a large number of farmlands still use traditional manual fertilizer application methods, which rely entirely on personal experience and not only cause the waste of fertilizer and water [...] Read more.
China has had the highest fertilizer use rate in the world for years, but today a large number of farmlands still use traditional manual fertilizer application methods, which rely entirely on personal experience and not only cause the waste of fertilizer and water resources but also make the local ecological environment polluted. This paper researches and designs a BP neural network PID controller based on PSO optimization to address the above problems. The PSO algorithm is used to optimize the initial weights of the BP neural network, and then optimize the control parameters of the PID to achieve accurate control of the liquid fertilizer flow. A precision fertilizer control system based on the STM32 microcontroller was also developed, and the performance of this controller was verified in tests. The results showed that compared with the conventional PID controller and BP neural network-based PID controller, this controller had good control accuracy and robustness, the average maximum overshoot was 6.35%, and the average regulation time was 41.17 s; when the fertilizer application flow rate was 0.6 m3/h, the shortest adjustment time is 30.85 s, which achieves the effect of precise fertilizer application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Agricultural Engineering Technologies and Application)
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15 pages, 2539 KiB  
Article
Design and Experimental Testing of a Control System for a Solid-Fertilizer-Dissolving Device Based on Fuzzy PID
by Xiuhua Song, Hong Li, Chao Chen, Huameng Xia, Zhiyang Zhang and Pan Tang
Agriculture 2022, 12(9), 1382; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12091382 - 3 Sep 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1960
Abstract
To overcome the problem of poor uniformity of solid-fertilizer-dissolving devices due to lag of fertilizer dissolution, a closed-loop control system based on fuzzy proportional-integral-derivative (PID) was designed and tested. A fertilizer concentration regulation model was then established according to the results. In this [...] Read more.
To overcome the problem of poor uniformity of solid-fertilizer-dissolving devices due to lag of fertilizer dissolution, a closed-loop control system based on fuzzy proportional-integral-derivative (PID) was designed and tested. A fertilizer concentration regulation model was then established according to the results. In this system, the control core was an STM32 used to feed back the fertilization concentration by detecting the electrical conductivity. For real-time adjustment of the fertilizer flow rate and water flow rate, a fuzzy PID control algorithm was utilized to compare the detected concentrations with the set concentrations. The linear relationships between quantities such as the fertilizer rate and PWM frequency, water flow rate and PWM duty ratio of the direct-current pump, and fertilizer concentration and electrical conductivity were all established to calibrate the system. The influence of the fertilizer flow rate and water flow rate on fertilizer concentration was determined by the control variable test method. The results showed a positive linear relationship between fertilizer concentration and fertilizer flow rate, while a reverse linear relationship was established between fertilizer concentration and water flow rate. After the introduction of the control system into the self-developed solid-fertilizer-dissolving device, the fertilizer concentration fluctuated near the set concentration in a range of no more than 1 g/L. After the disturbance of the fertilization device, the control system fine-tuned the device with a steady-state error of about 0.55 g/L after the system reached stability. The control system designed in this study was shown to run normally with good stability, speed, and accuracy, and with improved fertilization uniformity of the solid-fertilizer-dissolving device. This study lays the foundation for further study of fertilization control systems. It also provides a reference for the development of precise and intelligent fertigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Agricultural Engineering Technologies and Application)
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22 pages, 12703 KiB  
Article
Numerical Analysis of Ventilation Efficiency of a Korean Venlo-Type Greenhouse with Continuous Roof Vents
by Se-Jun Park, In-Bok Lee, Sang-Yeon Lee, Jun-Gyu Kim, Young-Bae Choi, Cristina Decano-Valentin, Jeong-Hwa Cho, Hyo-Hyeog Jeong and Uk-Hyeon Yeo
Agriculture 2022, 12(9), 1349; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12091349 - 31 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2379
Abstract
A Venlo-type greenhouse with a continuous roof vent (CR-Venlo greenhouse) was proposed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, South Korea (2019) for natural ventilation even during summers. It is ventilated through the buoyancy effect of the heated air using the [...] Read more.
A Venlo-type greenhouse with a continuous roof vent (CR-Venlo greenhouse) was proposed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, South Korea (2019) for natural ventilation even during summers. It is ventilated through the buoyancy effect of the heated air using the high eave elevation. However, the CR-Venlo greenhouse was not distributed domestically, and its ventilation efficiency was not quantitatively evaluated. We aimed to analyze the natural ventilation efficiency of the greenhouse according to the eave height, using computational-fluid-dynamics. The simulation model was analyzed for hot summer conditions. The target greenhouse is ventilated only through the roof vent with all roof windows open; therefore, the air introduced through the roof window is easily exhausted. To evaluate the efficiency of ventilation, the external air entering through the roof window was calculated and evaluated. The amount of incoming air varied greatly with the location of the span and average temperature of the greenhouse; The temperature of the crop zone decreased lognormally with increasing height of the eave. Moreover, the ventilation efficiency of CR-Venlo greenhouse could be increased by improving the ventilation structure such as a shape, position or combination of roof window. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Agricultural Engineering Technologies and Application)
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16 pages, 2872 KiB  
Article
An ANN-PSO-Based Method for Optimizing Agricultural Tractors in Field Operation for Emission Reduction
by Bowen Zheng, Zhenghe Song, Enrong Mao, Quan Zhou, Zhenhao Luo, Zhichao Deng, Xuedong Shao and Yuxi Liu
Agriculture 2022, 12(9), 1332; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12091332 - 29 Aug 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1720
Abstract
Aiming at the serious problem of agricultural tractor emission pollution, especially the limitation of nitrogen dioxide (NOx) and soot emissions, we took an agricultural diesel engine as the research object, and a diesel engine combustion chamber model was established for both simulated calculations [...] Read more.
Aiming at the serious problem of agricultural tractor emission pollution, especially the limitation of nitrogen dioxide (NOx) and soot emissions, we took an agricultural diesel engine as the research object, and a diesel engine combustion chamber model was established for both simulated calculations and experimental verification analysis. The in-cylinder pressure and heat release obtained from the combustion chamber model simulation calculations were within 6% error of the experimental data. The overall trend of change was basically consistent. The established model can simulate the working conditions of the experimental engine relatively well. An artificial neural network (ANN) was also established as an agent model based on the indentation rate, tab depth, and combustion chamber depth as the input, and NOx and soot as the output. The decision coefficients of the ANN model were R2 = 0.95 and 0.93, with corresponding Mean Relative Error (MRE) values of 10.13 and 8.18%, respectively, which are within the generally required interval, indicating that the obtained ANN model has good adaptability and accuracy. On the basis of the general particle swarm optimization (PSO) algorithm, an improved PSO algorithm was proposed, in which the inertia factor is continuously adjusted with the help of the skip line function in the optimization process so that the inertia factor adapts to different rates and adjusts the magnitude of the corresponding values in different periods. The improved PSO algorithm was used to optimize the optimal input parameter matching of the agent model to form a new combustion chamber structure, which was imported into CONVERGE CFD software for emission simulation and comparison with the emissions of the original combustion chamber. It was found that the NOx reduction was about 1.21 g·(kW·h)−1, and the soot reduction was about 0.06 g·(kW·h)−1 with the new combustion chamber structure. The ANN + PSO optimization method proved to be effective in reducing the NOx and soot emissions of diesel engine pollutants, and it may also provide a reference and ideas for the design and development of relevant agricultural engine combustion chamber systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Agricultural Engineering Technologies and Application)
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14 pages, 5296 KiB  
Article
A Fault Diagnosis Method for a Differential Inverse Gearbox of a Crawler Combine Harvester Based on Order Analysis
by Yaoming Li, Yanbin Liu, Kuizhou Ji and Ruiheng Zhu
Agriculture 2022, 12(9), 1300; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12091300 - 25 Aug 2022
Viewed by 1733
Abstract
The single HST (Hydro Static Transmission) mechanical differential transmission gearbox of crawler combine harvester is subjected to the impact of alternating loads in the field operation, resulting in its fatigue failure. The traditional durability fatigue test can improve the fault-free working time of [...] Read more.
The single HST (Hydro Static Transmission) mechanical differential transmission gearbox of crawler combine harvester is subjected to the impact of alternating loads in the field operation, resulting in its fatigue failure. The traditional durability fatigue test can improve the fault-free working time of machinery, but it is not suitable for agricultural machinery with time-varying load frequency bandwidth and stress amplitude. Therefore, in this paper, a fault diagnosis method based on order analysis was proposed considering the comprehensive influence of load amplitude and frequency on the fatigue life of gearbox. The location and the corresponding type of fault were found by comparing the spectral line peak changed before and after. Then, the test verification was carried out on the gearbox assembly fatigue test bench according to the compiled load spectrum. The results show that the analysis results of the fault diagnosis method based on order analysis were consistent with the unpacking inspection, which had reference significance for the research on the fault diagnosis method of the crawler combined harvester gearbox. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Agricultural Engineering Technologies and Application)
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21 pages, 13897 KiB  
Article
Design of High-Efficiency Soil-Returning Liquid Fertilizer Deep-Application Furrow Openers for Improving Furrowing Performance in Cold Regions of Northeast China
by Wenqi Zhou, Chao Song, Xiaobo Sun, Ziming Liu, Xue Ni, Kangjia Shen, Yi Jia Wang and Liquan Tian
Agriculture 2022, 12(9), 1286; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12091286 - 23 Aug 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1769
Abstract
Liquid-fertilizer deep-application techniques are techniques for applying fertilizers to the root system of crops, which can effectively improve the utilization rate of fertilizers and reduce application amounts. Due to the soil viscosity of soils in the cold region of Northeast China, the soil [...] Read more.
Liquid-fertilizer deep-application techniques are techniques for applying fertilizers to the root system of crops, which can effectively improve the utilization rate of fertilizers and reduce application amounts. Due to the soil viscosity of soils in the cold region of Northeast China, the soil return rate of furrow openers for liquid-fertilizer deep applications is low, which can easily cause excessive volatilizations of liquid fertilizers. Therefore, aiming at the operational requirements of low soil disturbance for liquid-fertilizer furrowing and deep applications, an efficient soil-returning liquid-fertilizer deep-application furrow opener was innovatively designed based on soil characteristics during the inter-cultivation period in the cold region of Northeast China. The discrete element method (DEM) was used to analyze the operating performance of the high-efficiency soil-returning liquid-fertilizer deep-application furrow openers, which is determined by key operating parameters including width and slip cutting angle. The DEM Virtual Simulation Experiment results show that the optimal combination is the width of 37.52 mm and a slip cutting angle of 43.27°, and the test results show that the optimal performance of the high-efficiency soil-returning liquid-fertilizer deep-application furrow opener is that the soil disturbance rate is 51.81%, and the soil-returning depth is 52.1 mm. This paper clarifies the relationship between the width and the slip cutting angle in furrowing resistance and soil disturbance and the mechanism by which the width and slip cutting angle affect soil disturbance. Above all, this study provides a theoretical and practical reference for the design of liquid-fertilizer deep-application furrow openers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Agricultural Engineering Technologies and Application)
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14 pages, 4426 KiB  
Article
Influence of Spray Control Parameters on the Performance of an Air-Blast Sprayer
by Yaohua Hu, Huanbo Yang, Bingru Hou, Ziting Xi and Zidong Yang
Agriculture 2022, 12(8), 1260; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12081260 - 19 Aug 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1705
Abstract
Orchard plant protection machinery in China still has a low application efficiency. Air-blast sprayers represent the primary development direction of pesticide applications in orchards. The spray control parameters have to be matched to the tree canopy status to achieve precise results. In this [...] Read more.
Orchard plant protection machinery in China still has a low application efficiency. Air-blast sprayers represent the primary development direction of pesticide applications in orchards. The spray control parameters have to be matched to the tree canopy status to achieve precise results. In this study, a vertical patternator was used to determine the accuracy of spraying fruit trees. The influences of three control parameters (blower speed, spray angle, and spray distance) on the spray performance of the air-blast sprayer were analyzed, and the volume of the spray was measured in collection plates at different heights. The quantitative relationship between the overall collection volume and the critical height collection volume was obtained for different parameter values, and the combined effects of any two control parameters on the collection performance and the position of the optimum collection area were obtained. The regression model describing the relationship between the collection volume in the critical height range and the three factors was established, and the main effects of the control parameters were determined. The results showed that if one parameter remained constant, the correlation between the other two parameters was non-significant. The collection volume in the critical height range increased initially and then decreased as the spray distance increased. The maximum collection volume was obtained at a spray distance of 1.762 m. The regression model can be used to obtain the optimum values of the parameters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Agricultural Engineering Technologies and Application)
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14 pages, 3438 KiB  
Article
EDEM Simulation Study on the Performance of a Mechanized Ditching Device for Codonopsis Planting
by Dejiang Liu, Yan Gong, Xuejun Zhang, Qingxu Yu, Xiao Zhang, Xiao Chen and Yemeng Wang
Agriculture 2022, 12(8), 1238; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12081238 - 17 Aug 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1733
Abstract
Codonopsis pilosula is cultivated mainly in sandy soils, especially in the Dingxi area of the Gansu province, northwest China. They are mainly planted in hilly areas, where large machines cannot reach easily. Codonopsis pilosula transplanting has been adopted with a conventional flat planting [...] Read more.
Codonopsis pilosula is cultivated mainly in sandy soils, especially in the Dingxi area of the Gansu province, northwest China. They are mainly planted in hilly areas, where large machines cannot reach easily. Codonopsis pilosula transplanting has been adopted with a conventional flat planting way, film mulching and seedling outcrops. While its planting requires opening a shallow ditch, short operation cycle, considerable labor intensity and is in large demand, a simulation analysis was performed according to specific tillage resistance, helpful in the optimization design in later stages and the improvement of a domestic ditching plow’s performance. This paper studies the simulation performance of an adjustable trench plough and analyzes the orthogonal test and Design-Expert response surface of the data. EDEM simulation software was used to analyze the traction resistance of the furrow ditching mechanism in the ditching process. The results show that the traction resistance increased from 1751.31 N to 2197.31 N as the simulation working speed increased from 0.9 m/s to 1.5 m/s, 1.25 times higher than the former. It indicates that speed had significant effects on traction resistance. With the increase in working speed, the furrow traction resistance and specific consumed power were increased considerably. Using the stability coefficient of the ditching depth and consistency coefficient of ditching bottom width as test indices, speed and angle of furrowing as impact factors, Box–Behnken orthogonal experiment design method, and establishing test indices and test factors, the regression model between the analysis of the influence of the test index, comprehensive agronomic requirements and MATLAB factor optimization of the experiment, the optimized operation parameter combination was obtained: the forward speed was 0.9 m/s, the angle of ditching was 35° and the stability coefficient of the ditching depth and consistency coefficient of ditch bottom width were 97.57% and 98.03%, respectively. The data after the simulation comparison test can provide a design reference for the domestic small trench operation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Agricultural Engineering Technologies and Application)
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12 pages, 6053 KiB  
Article
LED Lighting Agrosystem with Parallel Power Supply from Photovoltaic Modules and a Power Grid
by Pavel Tikhonov, Konstantin Morenko, Arseniy Sychov, Vadim Bolshev, Alexander Sokolov and Alexander Smirnov
Agriculture 2022, 12(8), 1215; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12081215 - 12 Aug 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1717
Abstract
The paper considers the operation of an LED lighting system with a parallel power supply from photovoltaic modules and a power grid. Such systems are supposed to be widely applicable in premises with limited natural lighting, particularly agrosystems where artificial light of a [...] Read more.
The paper considers the operation of an LED lighting system with a parallel power supply from photovoltaic modules and a power grid. Such systems are supposed to be widely applicable in premises with limited natural lighting, particularly agrosystems where artificial light of a certain spectrum is specifically required to ensure efficient plant growth. The paper presents the scheme of the developed LED lighting system, as well as an assembled prototype containing a single 36-watt lamp. The data of the experimental study are provided on the developed LED lighting system using the developed monitoring system. The experimental study demonstrates an efficient power take-off and the reliability of the proposed scheme to competently select the characteristics and circuit solutions for the converter of voltage from the PV module. The proposed LED system allows simplification of the PV system by eliminating circuits with an inverter and storage devices, hence significantly reducing the cost of the photovoltaic systems. Likewise, such a simplicity has a positive effect on PV system reliability, which benefits the cost as well. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Agricultural Engineering Technologies and Application)
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17 pages, 31497 KiB  
Article
Design and Test of Longitudinal Axial Flow Staggered Millet Flexible Threshing Device
by Xinping Li, Wantong Zhang, Wenzhe Wang and Yu Huang
Agriculture 2022, 12(8), 1179; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12081179 - 8 Aug 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1815
Abstract
In order to solve the problems of high millet agglomerates rate, high damage rate, and high undelivered net loss rate in the process of mechanized harvesting of millet, a longitudinal axial flow-staggered flexible threshing device for millet was designed on the basis of [...] Read more.
In order to solve the problems of high millet agglomerates rate, high damage rate, and high undelivered net loss rate in the process of mechanized harvesting of millet, a longitudinal axial flow-staggered flexible threshing device for millet was designed on the basis of the existing threshing device. The “staggered teeth” threshing drum and the micro rotating circular tube concave screen work together to realize the flexible and low damage threshing of millet. The pre experiment was carried out first, and the factors that have a great impact on the millet agglomerates rate, the undelivered net loss rate, and the damage rate were found to be the feeding amount, the rotating speed of the drum, and the threshing clearance. In order to further explore the influence of the interaction between the factors on the millet agglomerates rate, the undelivered net loss rate, and the damage rate, the regression orthogonal rotation combination test was carried out, and after the test, the optimal parameter combination of feeding amount, drum speed, and threshing clearance was determined. The results showed that when the feeding amount was 1.3 kg/s, the rotating speed of the drum was 762 r/min−1 and the concave clearance was 15 mm, the millet agglomerates rate was 2.92%, the high undelivered net loss rate was 1.58%, and the damage rate was 0.37%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Agricultural Engineering Technologies and Application)
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20 pages, 6937 KiB  
Article
Analysis and Simulation of Wheel-Track High Clearance Chassis of Rape Windrower
by Mei Jin, Min Zhang, Gang Wang, Suning Liang, Chongyou Wu and Ruiyin He
Agriculture 2022, 12(8), 1150; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12081150 - 3 Aug 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1861
Abstract
The middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River are the main production area of rapeseed. Small windrowers with two tracks are adopted in this area, which have lower efficiency. With the advancement of large-scale rape planting, medium and large windrowers are urgently [...] Read more.
The middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River are the main production area of rapeseed. Small windrowers with two tracks are adopted in this area, which have lower efficiency. With the advancement of large-scale rape planting, medium and large windrowers are urgently needed; however, most medium and large windrowers are wheeled machines which have poor adaptability to sticky soil in rice–rape rotation areas. Therefore, a wheel-track high clearance chassis for rape windrower was developed. Theoretical analysis and simulation of the main performance of this chassis were investigated. Mathematical models of the relationship between the chassis eccentricity and running resistance, uphill and downhill angle and the height of obstacle were established. Then, three-dimensional modeling and dynamic simulations of a wheel-track high clearance chassis of a rape windrower in wet clay soil were carried out based on Pro/E and RecurDyn software. The simulation results indicated that when the chassis ran on flat hard road at the same speed, eccentricity had little effect on average walking speed; the coefficient variation of speed decreased with the increase of eccentricity, while the driving torque and its coefficient variation decreased first and then increased. The minimum driving torque and the coefficient variations were obtained when the eccentricities were 1484 mm and 1584 mm. Field experiments were carried out on two kinds of ground. The results showed that on flat hard road, the speed of the wheel-track high clearance rape windrower was 0~20.22 km/h, the minimum turning radius was 5.965 m; on rice stubble field with 38.7% water content, the working speed was 0~9.12 km/h, the minimum turning radius was 6.498 m, and the climbing angle was over 20°. All parameters of the wheel-track high clearance chassis met the design specifications, and the working efficiency increased over 100% compared with the existing two-tracked rape windrower. A new kind of rape windrower for the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River was provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Agricultural Engineering Technologies and Application)
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11 pages, 2712 KiB  
Article
Numerical Simulation and Verification of Seed-Filling Performance of Single-Bud Billet Sugarcane Seed-Metering Device Based on EDEM
by Meimei Wang, Qingting Liu, Yinggang Ou and Xiaoping Zou
Agriculture 2022, 12(7), 983; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12070983 - 7 Jul 2022
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 1953
Abstract
The seed filling of a seed-metering device is a critical process in sugarcane cultivation operations. To analyze the contact between billets, the related mechanical components, and the law of billets movement in the seed-metering device, a simulation of the seed-filling process based on [...] Read more.
The seed filling of a seed-metering device is a critical process in sugarcane cultivation operations. To analyze the contact between billets, the related mechanical components, and the law of billets movement in the seed-metering device, a simulation of the seed-filling process based on EDEM was proposed, and a geometric model of the seed-metering device, a particle model, and a contact model were established by EDEM software. The physical experimental results and simulation results of the angle of repose were compared. The experimental results showed that the relative error of the angle of repose experiment was 6.67%, which verified the effectiveness of the material parameters of single-bud billet; the linear correlation coefficient of the seed-filling experiment was 0.762 for Sq and 0.869 for Se, which demonstrated the validity of using EDEM software to simulate the seed-filling process. Finally, the velocity and force of the particles in the seed-filling process were analyzed in EDEM. The analysis results indicated that there are two circulation circles in the seed box, and the larger the circulation circle, the easier the billets enter the rake bar. The EDEM simulation provides a basis for optimizing the structure and parameters of the sugarcane billet planter in future work. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Agricultural Engineering Technologies and Application)
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15 pages, 4689 KiB  
Article
Experimental Study of the Planting Uniformity of Sugarcane Single-Bud Billet Planters
by Meimei Wang, Qingting Liu, Yinggang Ou and Xiaoping Zou
Agriculture 2022, 12(7), 908; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12070908 - 22 Jun 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2690
Abstract
Planting uniformity is a key evaluation index for planters. This paper investigated the effect of rotational speed, the angle of the rake bar chain, and the number of billets on the planting uniformity of a seed-metering device in the laboratory. The experimental results [...] Read more.
Planting uniformity is a key evaluation index for planters. This paper investigated the effect of rotational spee