Topic Editors

Department of Agricultural Engineering, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan 60800, Pakistan
Department of Agricultural Engineering, College of Engineering, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100083, China
Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy, 14469 Potsdam, Germany
Department of Mechanical, Biomedical and Design Engineering, College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Aston University, Birmingham B4 7ET, UK

Emerging Agricultural Engineering Sciences, Technologies, and Applications—2nd Edition

Abstract submission deadline
31 December 2024
Manuscript submission deadline
20 March 2025
Viewed by
10184

Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

Modern agricultural engineering technologies and applications are directly linked with the 2030 United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs). Technological advancement is essential to next-generation agriculture in order to ensure food security, poverty alleviation, and sustainability. Worldwide, it is directly associated with farm mechanization; automation and robotics; intelligent agriculture; high-efficiency irrigation systems; indoor farming and soilless agriculture; precision/conservation agriculture; farm energy systems; post-harvest storage/processing and value addition; tillage and cultivation; spraying and harvesting machinery; livestock and poultry sheds; safe utilization of coal and bioenergy; remote sensing and geographical studies; wastewater management; societal aspects in agriculture; and the associated bioenvironment. Consequently, this topic aims to explore the interdisciplinary nature of research on such agricultural engineering sciences, technologies, and applications from the viewpoint of the agricultural water–energy–food-security nexus. Increasing agriculture modernization mitigates conventional energy reserves, which also escalates greenhouse-gas emissions and climate change. Carbon-neutral development and clean-energy utilization are also associated with the UN-SDGs. Thus, it is important to develop energy-efficient and environmentally friendly solutions to ensure the agriculture sector achieves the UN-SDGs.

This topic invites a wide range of emerging concepts on agricultural engineering technologies and applications by which sustainable agriculture and associated UN-SDGs can be ensured. We look forward to receiving cutting-edge original research, review, case studies, and/or recent progress/scenarios.

Dr. Muhammad Sultan
Dr. Yuguang Zhou
Dr. Redmond R. Shamshiri
Dr. Muhammad Imran
Topic Editors

Keywords

  • biomass, bioenergy, and clean fuel
  • farm mechanization and robotics
  • food science and processing
  • high-efficiency irrigation systems
  • hydroponic and aeroponic agriculture
  • irrigation systems and applications
  • modern control sheds and livestock barns
  • next-generation greenhouses
  • precision farming and food security
  • renewable energy for agriculture
  • smart and sustainable agriculture
  • solar dryers and solar pumping
  • sustainable bioenvironment
  • temperature/humidity control in agriculture
  • water and wastewater treatment

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Agriculture
agriculture
3.6 3.6 2011 17.7 Days CHF 2600 Submit
AgriEngineering
agriengineering
2.8 4.6 2019 25.8 Days CHF 1600 Submit
Sustainability
sustainability
3.9 5.8 2009 18.8 Days CHF 2400 Submit
Agronomy
agronomy
3.7 5.2 2011 15.8 Days CHF 2600 Submit
Crops
crops
- - 2021 30.5 Days CHF 1000 Submit

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Published Papers (10 papers)

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19 pages, 10521 KiB  
Article
Numerical Simulation of Structural Performance in a Single-Tube Frame for 12 m-Span Chinese Solar Greenhouses Subjected to Snow Loads
by Ming Li, Xiaoming Wei, Qingsong Zhao and Lichun Wang
Agronomy 2024, 14(6), 1122; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy14061122 - 24 May 2024
Viewed by 244
Abstract
To address the structural concerns of a 12.0 m-span landing assembled single-tube frame (LASF) for Chinese solar greenhouses subjected to snow loads, the internal forces and deformations of LASF and its reinforced counterpart (RLASF) were numerically simulated to determine the ultimate bearing capacities [...] Read more.
To address the structural concerns of a 12.0 m-span landing assembled single-tube frame (LASF) for Chinese solar greenhouses subjected to snow loads, the internal forces and deformations of LASF and its reinforced counterpart (RLASF) were numerically simulated to determine the ultimate bearing capacities (Lu) and the failure loads (Lf). During the simulations, steel tubes were modeled as beam188 elements and cables as link180 elements. The frame constraints and the connections were assumed to be fixed supports and rigid, respectively. The loads were determined according to the Chinese standard (GB51183-2016). Simulations revealed that the LASF and RLASF primarily withstand bending moments and are prone to strength failures under snow loads. Both exhibited lower Lu and Lf under non-uniform snow loads than under uniform snow loads. The results also indicated that crop loads could deteriorate the structural safety of the LASF and RLASF. Lu and Lf were found to be proportional to the section modulus of the tubes. The effects of wind loads and initial geometry imperfections on Lf of the LASF and RLASF can be neglected. Furthermore, the RLASF exhibited higher Lf compared to the LASF. Steel usage of the RLASF could be further reduced by replacing circular tubes with rectangular tubes, making the RLASF a feasible option for constructing Chinese solar greenhouses. Full article
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16 pages, 2368 KiB  
Article
An Assessment of Some Mechanical Properties of Harvested Potato Tubers cv. Spunta
by Saad S. Almady, Saad A. Al-Hamed, Samy A. Marey, Saleh M. Al-Sager and Abdulwahed M. Aboukarima
Agronomy 2024, 14(6), 1116; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy14061116 - 23 May 2024
Viewed by 308
Abstract
Mechanical properties of vegetables or crop materials play a noteworthy part in designing new related implements. These properties can be extracted from force–deformation curves. Several factors, such as soil preparation, irrigation, and pre- and post-harvest treatments influence them. The core objective of this [...] Read more.
Mechanical properties of vegetables or crop materials play a noteworthy part in designing new related implements. These properties can be extracted from force–deformation curves. Several factors, such as soil preparation, irrigation, and pre- and post-harvest treatments influence them. The core objective of this investigation work was to analyze force–deformation curves obtained from compression, penetration, and shear tests of potatoes (Spunta cv.) produced with three tillage implements. The potatoes cv. Spunta were cultivated in loamy sand soil under the center-pivot irrigation system. The tillage implements used were a disc harrow plow, chisel plow, and moldboard plow. The trials were performed at a constant planting depth (15 cm) below the soil and a single plowing speed of 5.4 km/h. All data were expressed as an average of five replicates ± standard deviation. The force–deformation curves analysis showed that the modulus of elasticity for potatoes cv. Spunta ranged from 4.32 to 5.8 N/mm, the bioyield force ranged from 84.25 to 114.12 N, and rupture forces ranged from 100.90 to 139.78 N. Furthermore, the results showed that the average values of the elastic and plastic ranges were 3.0 and 2.1 mm, respectively. The mean value of hardness was 1671.53 N·mm. No significant differences were observed with respect to the two planting seasons, but tillage implements had a significant impact on the characteristics extracted from the compression tests. The mean of the maximum forces required to penetrate the potato during the penetration stage were 41.24 N, 44.86 N, and 47.16 N for potatoes produced with the disc harrow plow, chisel plow, and moldboard plow, respectively. Similarly, the means of the maximum forces required to cut the potato in the shear stage were 724.38 N, 761 N, and 773.43 N for the disc harrow plow, chisel plow, and moldboard plow, respectively. The force–deformation curves showed that additional information might be required to obtain a complete description of the potato quality necessary to harvest potatoes cv. Spunta using harvesting and handling equipment with reduced economic loss. An extensive study of the soil characteristics and the above-mentioned properties is also recommended. The results obtained about the mechanical characteristics of potatoes cv. Spunta can be useful in providing information that aids in designing potato harvesting machines and in potato products factories. Full article
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30 pages, 37368 KiB  
Article
Spray Angle and Uniformity of the Flat Fan Nozzle of Deep Loosener Fertilizer for Intra-Soil Application of Fertilizers
by Sayakhat Nukeshev, Khozhakeldi Tanbayev, Mikalai Ramaniuk, Nurbol Kakabayev, Adilet Sugirbay and Aidar Moldazhanov
AgriEngineering 2024, 6(2), 1365-1394; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriengineering6020079 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 269
Abstract
This paper deals with the problem of predetermining the spray angle and uniformity of the flat fan sprayer with a semicircular impact surface for the intra-soil application of liquid mineral fertilizers. The jet impact on a round splash plate and radial atomization properties [...] Read more.
This paper deals with the problem of predetermining the spray angle and uniformity of the flat fan sprayer with a semicircular impact surface for the intra-soil application of liquid mineral fertilizers. The jet impact on a round splash plate and radial atomization properties are investigated theoretically, the formation features of the spray with an obtuse angle are studied in a geometrical way, and the design search of the nozzle shape and optimization calculations are performed using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations and then verified experimentally. It was revealed that the spray rate and spray angle can be adjusted by changing the parameter s, and when the spray angle is within s = 0–0.2 mm, it forms spray angles with range of 140°–175°. The spraying angle, in turn, shows the potential length of the tillage knife in accordance with the undersoil cavity dimensions. A spray uniformity of up to 74% was achieved, which is sufficient for applied studies and for intra-soil application operations. According to the investigations and field experiments, it can be concluded that the designed nozzle is applicable for the intra-soil application of liquid mineral fertilizers. The use of flat fan nozzles that form a spraying band under the soil cavity and along the entire length of the tillage knife ensures a highly efficient mixing process, the liquid mineral fertilizers with treated soil (particles) positively contributing to plant maturation. Full article
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16 pages, 971 KiB  
Article
A Cooperative Scheduling Based on Deep Reinforcement Learning for Multi-Agricultural Machines in Emergencies
by Weicheng Pan, Jia Wang and Wenzhong Yang
Agriculture 2024, 14(5), 772; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture14050772 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 396
Abstract
Effective scheduling of multiple agricultural machines in emergencies can reduce crop losses to a great extent. In this paper, cooperative scheduling based on deep reinforcement learning for multi-agricultural machines with deadlines is designed to minimize makespan. With the asymmetric transfer paths among farmlands, [...] Read more.
Effective scheduling of multiple agricultural machines in emergencies can reduce crop losses to a great extent. In this paper, cooperative scheduling based on deep reinforcement learning for multi-agricultural machines with deadlines is designed to minimize makespan. With the asymmetric transfer paths among farmlands, the problem of agricultural machinery scheduling under emergencies is modeled as an asymmetric multiple traveling salesman problem with time windows (AMTSPTW). With the popular encoder-decoder structure, heterogeneous feature fusion attention is designed in the encoder to integrate time windows and asymmetric transfer paths for more comprehensive and better feature extraction. Meanwhile, a path segmentation mask mechanism in the decoder is proposed to divide solutions efficiently by adding virtual depots to assign work to each agricultural machinery. Experimental results show that our proposal outperforms existing modified baselines for the studied problem. Especially, the measurements of computation ratio and makespan are improved by 26.7% and 21.9% on average, respectively. The computation time of our proposed strategy has a significant improvement over these comparisons. Meanwhile, our strategy has a better generalization for larger problems. Full article
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30 pages, 15594 KiB  
Article
Design and Test of a Grain Cleaning Loss Monitoring Device for Wheat Combine Harvester
by Zhe Qu, Qi Lu, Haihao Shao, Jintao Le, Xilong Wang, Huihui Zhao and Wanzhang Wang
Agriculture 2024, 14(5), 671; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture14050671 - 25 Apr 2024
Viewed by 624
Abstract
As the world’s first large grain crop, wheat in its mechanized harvesting process faces a serious problem, namely, when the combine harvester operating parameters are not set reasonably, it leads to increased losses of wheat kernels to an extent exceeding the prescribed standard, [...] Read more.
As the world’s first large grain crop, wheat in its mechanized harvesting process faces a serious problem, namely, when the combine harvester operating parameters are not set reasonably, it leads to increased losses of wheat kernels to an extent exceeding the prescribed standard, of which the loss of scavenging accounts for a large proportion. Excessive grain harvest loss will not only reduce the quality of the wheat harvest but also adversely affect its yield. Real-time monitoring of losses in the harvesting process is key to the dynamic adjustment of operating parameters to decrease machine harvesting losses. This article proposes a grain cleaning loss monitoring device for combine harvesters suitable for wheat crops. It aims to measure the loss of grain cleaning in the process of wheat harvesting in real time and adjust the operating parameters of the harvester timeously by feeding back the data to the driver in real time, so as to decrease the loss of wheat grains in the process of harvesting and achieve the purpose of reducing the loss of harvest. When the device was tested in the field, the wheat variety was Bainong 4199, the yield per mu was 625.83 kg (one mu is 1/15 of a hectare, or approximately 666.67 m2), the mass of grain was 43.21 g, and the water content was 14.2%. After the test, the monitoring error of the loss monitoring device was within 8%, and the average error rate was 6.69%. The test proves that the monitoring device achieves the expected design effect and meets design requirements. The results of this paper are of significance to the intelligent control system of wheat combine harvesters and provide a reference for research into grain cleaning loss monitoring devices for wheat combine harvesters. Full article
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20 pages, 1326 KiB  
Review
The Potential of Cold Plasma-Based Seed Treatments in Legume–Rhizobia Symbiotic Nitrogen Fixation: A Review
by Dhanuja N. Abeysingha, Harleen K. Dhaliwal, Lihui Du, Chathuranga De Silva, Krzysztof Szczyglowski, M. S. Roopesh and Malinda S. Thilakarathna
Crops 2024, 4(1), 95-114; https://doi.org/10.3390/crops4010008 - 11 Mar 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1014
Abstract
The use of cold plasma (CP) seed treatment is an emerging agricultural technology that exhibits the potential to enhance nodulation and symbiotic nitrogen fixation (SNF) in legumes. CP is composed of a diverse mixture of excited atoms, molecules, ions, and radicals that have [...] Read more.
The use of cold plasma (CP) seed treatment is an emerging agricultural technology that exhibits the potential to enhance nodulation and symbiotic nitrogen fixation (SNF) in legumes. CP is composed of a diverse mixture of excited atoms, molecules, ions, and radicals that have the potential to affect the physical properties of the seed and influence gene expressions that could have a lasting impact on the nodulation, SNF, growth, and yield of legumes. The direct participation of the CP in the nodulation process and its correlation with the escalation of nodules and SNF is still not fully understood. This review discussed four areas in the nodulation and SNF process that can directly or indirectly affect CP seed treatments: root–rhizobia signal exchange pathways, root/shoot growth and development, phytohormone production, and the nitrogen fixation process. We also discuss the potential challenges and future research requirements associated with plasma technology to enhance SNF in legumes. Full article
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20 pages, 5526 KiB  
Article
ENVISPRAY: A Methodology to Evaluate PAE (Pesticide Application Equipment) According to the Environmental Risk
by Rubén Collantes, Ramon Salcedo, Enric Armengol, Jose F. Schlosser and Emilio Gil
Agronomy 2024, 14(3), 561; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy14030561 - 11 Mar 2024
Viewed by 734
Abstract
Pesticide application equipment (PAE) is the last part of the chain during the plant protection process. The use-phase of plant protection products (PPP) has been addressed in two EU Directives: 128/2009/EC and 127/2009/EC. This last one covers all the mandatory technical requirements to [...] Read more.
Pesticide application equipment (PAE) is the last part of the chain during the plant protection process. The use-phase of plant protection products (PPP) has been addressed in two EU Directives: 128/2009/EC and 127/2009/EC. This last one covers all the mandatory technical requirements to be fulfilled by new sprayers prior to their placement in the market. The objective of this research was to develop a potential decision support system (DSS) to evaluate and quantify the degree of implementation of all the required characteristics of new sprayers, including not only the mandatory requirements but also specifications widely described in the corresponding harmonized standard ISO 16119. It includes 10 independent elements of the sprayer, including a list of technical specifications listed in the applied standards ISO 16119 and ISO 16122. The relative influence of every one of the different elements has been quantified based on previous research. The algorithm enables the establishment of an objective relative classification of the sprayers to differentiate among different machines, mainly based on their quantified environmental contamination risk. The DSS can also discriminate among sprayers that should not reach the market due to their non-compliance with any of the mandatory requirements. Full article
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36 pages, 3119 KiB  
Review
Plastic Pollution in Agriculture as a Threat to Food Security, the Ecosystem, and the Environment: An Overview
by Imran Ali Lakhiar, Haofang Yan, Jianyun Zhang, Guoqing Wang, Shuaishuai Deng, Rongxuan Bao, Chuan Zhang, Tabinda Naz Syed, Biyu Wang, Rui Zhou and Xuanxuan Wang
Agronomy 2024, 14(3), 548; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy14030548 - 7 Mar 2024
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3256
Abstract
Plastic products in plant production and protection help farmers increase crop production, enhance food quality, and reduce global water use and their environmental footprint. Simultaneously, plastic has emerged as a critical ecological issue in recent years, and its pollution has significantly impacted soil, [...] Read more.
Plastic products in plant production and protection help farmers increase crop production, enhance food quality, and reduce global water use and their environmental footprint. Simultaneously, plastic has emerged as a critical ecological issue in recent years, and its pollution has significantly impacted soil, water, and plants. Thus, this review examines the multifaceted problems of plastic pollution in agriculture as a risk to food security, the ecosystem, and the environment. The study’s objective was to review and present the most recent information on using different plastic products in agriculture, the sources of plastic pollution, the advantages and drawbacks of using plastic products, and the strategies for mitigating plastic pollution in agriculture. Furthermore, after examining current plastic applications, benefits, adverse effects, and risks to soil, plants, and the environment, we addressed the requirements for technological advancements, regulations, and social processes that could contribute to mitigating plastic pollution in our ecosystems. We identified different pathways toward more sustainable use of plastics in agriculture and discussed future research directions. Full article
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20 pages, 2570 KiB  
Article
Prediction of Specific Fuel Consumption of a Tractor during the Tillage Process Using an Artificial Neural Network Method
by Saleh M. Al-Sager, Saad S. Almady, Samy A. Marey, Saad A. Al-Hamed and Abdulwahed M. Aboukarima
Agronomy 2024, 14(3), 492; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy14030492 - 28 Feb 2024
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1038
Abstract
In mechanized agricultural activities, fuel is particularly important for tillage operations. In this study, the impact of seven distinct parameters on fuel usage per unit of draft power was examined. The parameters are tractor power, soil texture index, plowing speed, plowing depth, width [...] Read more.
In mechanized agricultural activities, fuel is particularly important for tillage operations. In this study, the impact of seven distinct parameters on fuel usage per unit of draft power was examined. The parameters are tractor power, soil texture index, plowing speed, plowing depth, width of implement, and both initial soil moisture content and soil bulk density. This study investigated the construction of an artificial neural network (ANN) model for tractor-specific fuel consumption predictions for two tillage implements: chisel and moldboard plows. The ANN model was created based on the collection of related data from previous research studies, and the validation was performed using actual field experiments in clay soil using a chisel plow. The developed ANN model (9-22-1) was confirmed by graphical assessment; additionally, the root-mean-square error (RMSE) was computed. Based on the RMSE, the results demonstrated a good agreement for specific fuel consumption per draft power between the observed and predicted values, with corresponding RMSE values of 0.08 L/kWh and 0.075 L/kWh for the training and testing datasets, respectively. The novelty of the work presented in this paper is that, for the first time, a farm machinery manager can optimize tractor fuel consumption per draft power by carefully controlling certain parameters, such as initial soil moisture content, tractor power, plowing speed, implement width, and depth of plowing. The results show that the input parameters make a significant contribution to the output over the used data with different percentages. Accordingly, the contribution analysis showed that the implement width had a high impact on tractor-specific fuel consumption for both plows at 30.13%; additionally, the chisel and moldboard plows contributed 4.19% and 4.25% in predicting tractor fuel consumption per draft power. This study concluded that practical useful advice for agricultural production can be achieved through optimizing fuel consumption rate by selecting the proper levels of affecting parameters to reduce fuel costs. Moreover, an ANN model could be used to develop future tractor fuel-planning schemes for tillage operations. Full article
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17 pages, 6627 KiB  
Article
Effects of Burial Furrow Parameters on Soil Water Movement under Subsurface Stalk Composite Pipe Irrigation
by Feng Wu, Xuefang Feng, Xuemei Liu, Di Wu, Songmei Zai and Linbao Liu
Agriculture 2024, 14(2), 287; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture14020287 - 10 Feb 2024
Viewed by 791
Abstract
Stalk composite pipe (SCP), a novel product used for subsurface irrigation, is primarily composed of crop stalks, soil, and water. In subsurface SCP irrigation (SSI), comprehending the effects of burial furrow parameters on soil water movement is critical. However, the precise effects are [...] Read more.
Stalk composite pipe (SCP), a novel product used for subsurface irrigation, is primarily composed of crop stalks, soil, and water. In subsurface SCP irrigation (SSI), comprehending the effects of burial furrow parameters on soil water movement is critical. However, the precise effects are not known. Here, we aimed to assess the effects of varying burial furrow dimensions, including widths of 15, 20, and 25 cm, depths of 10, 15, and 20 cm, and backfilling-soil bulk densities of 1.1, 1.2, and 1.3 g cm−3, on wetted distance and soil water movement. We conducted an indoor soil bin experiment and numerical simulation using HYDRUS-2D in 2020–2021 in Zhengzhou City, Northern China. Wider burial furrows resulted in increased wetted distance and soil water content, ultimately leading to greater effect in a horizontal direction. In the horizontal profile, the average soil water content of the SSI treatments, which used burial furrow widths of 15, 20, and 25 cm, were 1.121, 1.230, and 1.280 times higher, respectively, than those of CK. The burial furrow depth had minimal effect on the wetted distance, whereas adjusting the burial furrow depth primarily affected the saturation depth. The speed of wetting-front migration was affected by the backfilling-soil bulk density. For a given soil and crop, it is advisable to determine first the burial furrow width and backfilling-soil bulk density. Subsequently, the burial furrow depth should be established based on the distribution of the crop’s roots. Our findings offer a scientific basis for using SSI. Full article
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