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Agriculture, Volume 12, Issue 6 (June 2022) – 156 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Oxyfluorfen has negative effects on environmental and human health. To reduce soil contamination and impacts on non-target organisms, biochar is introduced into soils to immobilize and sequestrate oxyfluorfen as a remediation practice. Three types of soils common in China were selected, and biochar (rice hull, BCR) was added to investigate the desorption and bioavailability of oxyfluorfen after aging BCR for 0, 1, 3, and 6 months. Four chemical extraction methods were used to predict oxyfluorfen bioavailability. Results indicated that BCR could be a practical method to remediate contaminated soil, and the 6h Tenax method could be a sensitive and feasible tool to assess the bioavailability of oxyfluorfen in soil. View this paper
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12 pages, 23565 KiB  
Article
Finite Element Model Construction and Cutting Parameter Calibration of Wild Chrysanthemum Stem
by Tao Wang, Zhengdao Liu, Xiaoli Yan, Guopeng Mi, Suyuan Liu, Kezhou Chen, Shilin Zhang, Xun Wang, Shuo Zhang and Xiaopeng Wu
Agriculture 2022, 12(6), 894; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12060894 - 20 Jun 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2127
Abstract
Due to a lack of an accurate model in finite element simulation of mechanized harvesting of wild chrysanthemum, the stem of wild chrysanthemum in the harvesting period is taken as the research object. ANSYS Workbench 19.0 software and LS-DYNA software (LS-PrePOST-4.3-X64) are used [...] Read more.
Due to a lack of an accurate model in finite element simulation of mechanized harvesting of wild chrysanthemum, the stem of wild chrysanthemum in the harvesting period is taken as the research object. ANSYS Workbench 19.0 software and LS-DYNA software (LS-PrePOST-4.3-X64) are used to calibrate the finite element simulation model of wild chrysanthemum stem cutting. The stem diameter distribution at the cutting height of the chrysanthemum is obtained. The maximum shear forces at different diameters (7 mm, 8 mm, 9 mm, 10 mm, and 11 mm) within the cutting range are determined as 120.0 N, 159.2 N, 213.8 N, 300.0 N, and 378.2 N, respectively, by using a biomechanical testing machine and a custom-made shear blade. The Plastic_Kinematic failure model is used to simulate the cutting process by the finite element method. The Plackett–Burman test is employed to screen out the test factors that significantly affect the results, namely, the yield stress, failure strain, and strain rate parameter C. The regression model between the shear force and significant parameters is obtained by central composite design experiments. To obtain the model parameters, the measured values are substituted into the regression equation as the simulation target values. In other words, the yield stress is 17.96 MPa, the strain rate parameter C is 87.27, and the failure strain is 0.0387. The maximum shear force simulation test is carried out with the determined parameters. The results showed that the maximum error between the simulated and the actual value of the maximum shear force of wild chrysanthemum stems with different diameters is 7.8%. This indicates that the calibrated parameters of the relevant stem failure model can be used in the finite element method simulation and provide a basis for subsequent simulations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Agricultural Engineering Technologies and Application)
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17 pages, 5097 KiB  
Article
Research on Comprehensive Operation and Maintenance Based on the Fault Diagnosis System of Combine Harvester
by Weipeng Zhang, Bo Zhao, Liming Zhou, Jizhong Wang, Kang Niu, Fengzhu Wang and Ruixue Wang
Agriculture 2022, 12(6), 893; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12060893 - 20 Jun 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2494
Abstract
In view of the difficulty in diagnosing and discriminating fault conditions during the operation of combine harvesters, difficulty in real-time processing of health status, and low timeliness of fault processing, a comprehensive operation and maintenance platform for combine harvesters was developed in this [...] Read more.
In view of the difficulty in diagnosing and discriminating fault conditions during the operation of combine harvesters, difficulty in real-time processing of health status, and low timeliness of fault processing, a comprehensive operation and maintenance platform for combine harvesters was developed in this study which realized the functions of data monitoring and the full operation and maintenance of a combine harvester. At the same time, through the comprehensive operation and maintenance platform, the harvester information was obtained in real-time, the diagnosis results were obtained, and the maintenance service was effectively carried out through the platform. The IPSO-SVM fault diagnosis algorithm was proposed, and the performance of the fault diagnosis of the combine harvester was verified by the simulation test. The experimental verification showed that the system met the requirements of remote monitoring of combine harvesters, and the prediction accuracy of this method was 97.96%. Compared with SVM (87.51%), GA-SVM (89.44%), and PSO-SVM (92.56%), this system had better generalization ability and effectively improved the management level of the comprehensive operation and maintenance of the combine harvester. A theoretical basis and technical reference will be provided for the follow-up research for the comprehensive operation and maintenance platform of the combine harvester in this paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Robots and Automation Technology in Agriculture)
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13 pages, 3070 KiB  
Article
Improving Wheat Yield Prediction Accuracy Using LSTM-RF Framework Based on UAV Thermal Infrared and Multispectral Imagery
by Yulin Shen, Benoît Mercatoris, Zhen Cao, Paul Kwan, Leifeng Guo, Hongxun Yao and Qian Cheng
Agriculture 2022, 12(6), 892; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12060892 - 20 Jun 2022
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 3640
Abstract
Yield prediction is of great significance in agricultural production. Remote sensing technology based on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) offers the capacity of non-intrusive crop yield prediction with low cost and high throughput. In this study, a winter wheat field experiment with three levels [...] Read more.
Yield prediction is of great significance in agricultural production. Remote sensing technology based on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) offers the capacity of non-intrusive crop yield prediction with low cost and high throughput. In this study, a winter wheat field experiment with three levels of irrigation (T1 = 240 mm, T2 = 190 mm, T3 = 145 mm) was conducted in Henan province. Multispectral vegetation indices (VIs) and canopy water stress indices (CWSI) were obtained using an UAV equipped with multispectral and thermal infrared cameras. A framework combining a long short-term memory neural network and random forest (LSTM-RF) was proposed for predicting wheat yield using VIs and CWSI from multi-growth stages as predictors. Validation results showed that the R2 of 0.61 and the RMSE value of 878.98 kg/ha was achieved in predicting grain yield using LSTM. LSTM-RF model obtained better prediction results compared to the LSTM with n R2 of 0.78 and RMSE of 684.1 kg/ha, which is equivalent to a 22% reduction in RMSE. The results showed that LSTM-RF considered both the time-series characteristics of the winter wheat growth process and the non-linear characteristics between remote sensing data and crop yield data, providing an alternative for accurate yield prediction in modern agricultural management. Full article
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15 pages, 4635 KiB  
Article
Effect of Fans’ Placement on the Indoor Thermal Environment of Typical Tunnel-Ventilated Multi-Floor Pig Buildings Using Numerical Simulation
by Xiaoshuai Wang, Mengbing Cao, Feiyue Hu, Qianying Yi, Thomas Amon, David Janke, Tian Xie, Guoqiang Zhang and Kaiying Wang
Agriculture 2022, 12(6), 891; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12060891 - 20 Jun 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1852
Abstract
An increasing number of large pig farms are being built in multi-floor pig buildings (MFPBs) in China. Currently, the ventilation system of MFPB varies greatly and lacks common standards. This work aims to compare the ventilation performance of three popular MFPB types with [...] Read more.
An increasing number of large pig farms are being built in multi-floor pig buildings (MFPBs) in China. Currently, the ventilation system of MFPB varies greatly and lacks common standards. This work aims to compare the ventilation performance of three popular MFPB types with different placement of fans using the Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) technique. After being validated with field-measured data, the CFD models were extended to simulate the air velocity, air temperature, humidity, and effective temperature of the three MFPBs. The simulation results showed that the ventilation rate of the building with outflowing openings in the endwall and fans installed on the top of the shaft was approximately 25% less than the two buildings with fans installed on each floor. The ventilation rate of each floor increased from the first to the top floor for both buildings with a shaft, while no significant difference was observed in the building without a shaft. Increasing the shaft’s width could mitigate the variation in the ventilation rate of each floor. The effective temperature distribution at the animal level was consistent with the air velocity distribution. Therefore, in terms of the indoor environmental condition, the fans were recommended to be installed separately on each floor. Full article
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17 pages, 5236 KiB  
Article
The Design and Test of the Chassis of a Triangular Crawler-Type Ratooning Rice Harvester
by Weijian Liu, Xiwen Luo, Shan Zeng, Li Zeng and Zhiqiang Wen
Agriculture 2022, 12(6), 890; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12060890 - 20 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2436
Abstract
Due to the high rolling rate of a regular crawler paddy harvester and the absence of mature first season harvester products of ratooning rice, combined with the planting mode and harvest requirements of ratooning rice, a triangular crawler ratooning rice harvester is specifically [...] Read more.
Due to the high rolling rate of a regular crawler paddy harvester and the absence of mature first season harvester products of ratooning rice, combined with the planting mode and harvest requirements of ratooning rice, a triangular crawler ratooning rice harvester is specifically designed. The structure and steering principle of the triangular crawler chassis are described. The hydraulic system is simulated and analyzed by AMESim2020 (Guangzhou, China) to verify the rationality of its design; RecurDynV9R4 (Guangzhou, China) is used to simulate and analyze the field straight/turning situation of differential steering chassis and rear-axle steering chassis. The results show that the rear axle steering chassis has a smaller turning radius and lower rolling loss rate and the change of track tension is more stable during steering. The field test is conducted to verify the reliability of the simulation results. The field test shows that the rolling loss rate of the rear axle steering chassis is reduced by 27.9% compared with the differential steering chassis. The machine’s operating speed is 2.8 km/h, the minimum turning radius is 780 mm, and the straight rolling rate is 26.8%. The operating performance is stable, and the operational process is smooth. Compared with the existing conventional harvester, the linear rolling rate of the first harvest of ratooning rice is reduced by 26.1%, and the test results are consistent with the RecurDyn simulation results. The results are reliable, providing a reference for the theoretical research of the chassis of the later ratoon rice harvester. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Agricultural Technology)
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15 pages, 4822 KiB  
Article
Experimental Study on the Droplet Size and Charge-to-Mass Ratio of an Air-Assisted Electrostatic Nozzle
by Shiqun Dai, Jiayao Zhang, Weidong Jia, Mingxiong Ou, Huitao Zhou, Xiang Dong, Hong Chen, Ming Wang, Yu Chen and Shuai Yang
Agriculture 2022, 12(6), 889; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12060889 - 20 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1962
Abstract
An air-assisted electrostatic nozzle uses a combination of air-assisted atomization and electrostatic spray technology. This article optimizes the existing air-assisted electrostatic nozzles in terms of structural design to obtain a higher charge-to-mass ratio and a smaller droplet size. The optimized air-assisted electrostatic nozzle [...] Read more.
An air-assisted electrostatic nozzle uses a combination of air-assisted atomization and electrostatic spray technology. This article optimizes the existing air-assisted electrostatic nozzles in terms of structural design to obtain a higher charge-to-mass ratio and a smaller droplet size. The optimized air-assisted electrostatic nozzle was studied experimentally, and the effects of liquid pressure, air pressure and applied voltage on the droplet size and charge-to-mass ratio were investigated. Comparing the effects of air pressure, liquid pressure and applied voltage on the charge-to-mass ratio and droplet size, the relationship curves of the droplet size and charge-to-mass ratio under each voltage were fitted using the Rayleigh charge limit theory. For a higher CMR during the spray operation, applied voltages between 2.5 kV and 3 kV, an air pressure between 0.4 bar and 0.6 bar, and a liquid pressure of less than 0.9 bar could be chosen. The optimized air-assisted electrostatic nozzles not only have small droplets but also have high charge-to-mass ratios, reducing the need for pesticide use and thus protecting human health and the environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Crop Protection, Diseases, Pests and Weeds)
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11 pages, 1964 KiB  
Perspective
Advanced Technologies in On-Site Detection of Genetically Modified Products
by Jiale Li, Jie Li, Shenghao Lin, Longjiao Zhu, Xiangyang Li and Wentao Xu
Agriculture 2022, 12(6), 888; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12060888 - 20 Jun 2022
Viewed by 2349
Abstract
Transgenic technology is significantly impacting life today. However, with the advancement of genetically modified technologies and the success of genetically modified product commercialization, new challenges have arisen for associated detecting technologies. The need for fast, precise, and portable systems for the on-site detection [...] Read more.
Transgenic technology is significantly impacting life today. However, with the advancement of genetically modified technologies and the success of genetically modified product commercialization, new challenges have arisen for associated detecting technologies. The need for fast, precise, and portable systems for the on-site detection of genetically modified products has increased dramatically in recent years. This perspective examined the currently available technological support for portable immune biosensing, discussed a portable detection device for ultrafast PCR, and an on-site detection biosensor based on functional nucleic acid and superior detection devices in the field. Moreover, the on-site sequencing of genetically modified organisms was mentioned briefly. Lastly, the future outlook of genetically modified products detection was concluded and discussed in order to provide a comprehensive reference for future research and development in related fields. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Detection and Identification of Transgenic Organisms in Agriculture)
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17 pages, 7466 KiB  
Article
GrapeNet: A Lightweight Convolutional Neural Network Model for Identification of Grape Leaf Diseases
by Jianwu Lin, Xiaoyulong Chen, Renyong Pan, Tengbao Cao, Jitong Cai, Yang Chen, Xishun Peng, Tomislav Cernava and Xin Zhang
Agriculture 2022, 12(6), 887; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12060887 - 20 Jun 2022
Cited by 31 | Viewed by 4868
Abstract
Most convolutional neural network (CNN) models have various difficulties in identifying crop diseases owing to morphological and physiological changes in crop tissues, and cells. Furthermore, a single crop disease can show different symptoms. Usually, the differences in symptoms between early crop disease and [...] Read more.
Most convolutional neural network (CNN) models have various difficulties in identifying crop diseases owing to morphological and physiological changes in crop tissues, and cells. Furthermore, a single crop disease can show different symptoms. Usually, the differences in symptoms between early crop disease and late crop disease stages include the area of disease and color of disease. This also poses additional difficulties for CNN models. Here, we propose a lightweight CNN model called GrapeNet for the identification of different symptom stages for specific grape diseases. The main components of GrapeNet are residual blocks, residual feature fusion blocks (RFFBs), and convolution block attention modules. The residual blocks are used to deepen the network depth and extract rich features. To alleviate the CNN performance degradation associated with a large number of hidden layers, we designed an RFFB module based on the residual block. It fuses the average pooled feature map before the residual block input and the high-dimensional feature maps after the residual block output by a concatenation operation, thereby achieving feature fusion at different depths. In addition, the convolutional block attention module (CBAM) is introduced after each RFFB module to extract valid disease information. The obtained results show that the identification accuracy was determined as 82.99%, 84.01%, 82.74%, 84.77%, 80.96%, 82.74%, 80.96%, 83.76%, and 86.29% for GoogLeNet, Vgg16, ResNet34, DenseNet121, MobileNetV2, MobileNetV3_large, ShuffleNetV2_×1.0, EfficientNetV2_s, and GrapeNet. The GrapeNet model achieved the best classification performance when compared with other classical models. The total number of parameters of the GrapeNet model only included 2.15 million. Compared with DenseNet121, which has the highest accuracy among classical network models, the number of parameters of GrapeNet was reduced by 4.81 million, thereby reducing the training time of GrapeNet by about two times compared with that of DenseNet121. Moreover, the visualization results of Grad-cam indicate that the introduction of CBAM can emphasize disease information and suppress irrelevant information. The overall results suggest that the GrapeNet model is useful for the automatic identification of grape leaf diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Internet and Computers for Agriculture)
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24 pages, 335 KiB  
Review
Post-Anthesis Heat Influences Grain Yield, Physical and Nutritional Quality in Wheat: A Review
by Edward Fernie, Daniel K. Y. Tan, Sonia Y. Liu, Najeeb Ullah and Ali Khoddami
Agriculture 2022, 12(6), 886; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12060886 - 19 Jun 2022
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 3355
Abstract
Climate change threatens to impact wheat productivity, quality and global food security. Maintaining crop productivity under abiotic stresses such as high temperature is therefore imperative to managing the nutritional needs of a growing global population. The article covers the current knowledge on the [...] Read more.
Climate change threatens to impact wheat productivity, quality and global food security. Maintaining crop productivity under abiotic stresses such as high temperature is therefore imperative to managing the nutritional needs of a growing global population. The article covers the current knowledge on the impact of post-anthesis heat on grain yield and quality of wheat crops. The objectives of the current article were to review (1) the effect of post-anthesis heat stress events (above 30.0 °C) on wheat grain yield, (2) the effect of heat stress on both the physical and chemical quality of wheat grain during grain development, (3) identify wheat cultivars that display resilience to heat stress and (4) address gaps within the literature and provide a direction for future research. Heat stress events at the post-anthesis stage impacted wheat grain yield mostly at the grain filling stage, whilst the effect on physical and chemical quality was varied. The overall effect of post-anthesis heat on wheat yield and quality was genotype-specific. Additionally, heat tolerance mechanisms were identified that may explain variations in yield and quality data obtained between studies. Full article
14 pages, 8494 KiB  
Article
Position Accuracy Assessment of a UAV-Mounted Sequoia+ Multispectral Camera Using a Robotic Total Station
by Dimitrios S. Paraforos, Galibjon M. Sharipov, Andreas Heiß and Hans W. Griepentrog
Agriculture 2022, 12(6), 885; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12060885 - 19 Jun 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2326
Abstract
Remote sensing data in agriculture that are originating from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV)-mounted multispectral cameras offer substantial information in assessing crop status, as well as in developing prescription maps for site-specific variable rate applications. The position accuracy of the multispectral imagery plays an [...] Read more.
Remote sensing data in agriculture that are originating from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV)-mounted multispectral cameras offer substantial information in assessing crop status, as well as in developing prescription maps for site-specific variable rate applications. The position accuracy of the multispectral imagery plays an important role in the quality of the final prescription maps and how well the latter correspond to the specific spatial characteristics. Although software products and developed algorithms are important in offering position corrections, they are time- and cost-intensive. The paper presents a methodology to assess the accuracy of the imagery obtained by using a mounted target prism on the UAV, which is tracked by a ground-based total station. A Parrot Sequoia+ multispectral camera was used that is widely utilized in agriculture-related remote sensing applications. Two sets of experiments were performed following routes that go along the north–south and east–west axes, while the cross-track error was calculated for all three planes, but also three-dimensional (3D) space. From the results, it was indicated that the camera’s D-GNSS receiver can offer imagery with a 3D position accuracy of up to 3.79 m, while the accuracy in the horizontal plane is higher compared to the vertical ones. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Sensor Technology to Agri-Food Systems)
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16 pages, 5104 KiB  
Article
Transformer Help CNN See Better: A Lightweight Hybrid Apple Disease Identification Model Based on Transformers
by Xiaopeng Li and Shuqin Li
Agriculture 2022, 12(6), 884; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12060884 - 19 Jun 2022
Cited by 30 | Viewed by 4095
Abstract
The complex backgrounds of crop disease images and the small contrast between the disease area and the background can easily cause confusion, which seriously affects the robustness and accuracy of apple disease- identification models. To solve the above problems, this paper proposes a [...] Read more.
The complex backgrounds of crop disease images and the small contrast between the disease area and the background can easily cause confusion, which seriously affects the robustness and accuracy of apple disease- identification models. To solve the above problems, this paper proposes a Vision Transformer-based lightweight apple leaf disease- identification model, ConvViT, to extract effective features of crop disease spots to identify crop diseases. Our ConvViT includes convolutional structures and Transformer structures; the convolutional structure is used to extract the global features of the image, and the Transformer structure is used to obtain the local features of the disease region to help the CNN see better. The patch embedding method is improved to retain more edge information of the image and promote the information exchange between patches in the Transformer. The parameters and FLOPs (Floating Point Operations) of the model are significantly reduced by using depthwise separable convolution and linear-complexity multi-head attention operations. Experimental results on a complex background of a self-built apple leaf disease dataset show that ConvViT achieves comparable identification results (96.85%) with the current performance of the state-of-the-art Swin-Tiny. The parameters and FLOPs are only 32.7% and 21.7% of Swin-Tiny, and significantly ahead of MobilenetV3, Efficientnet-b0, and other models, which indicates that the proposed model is indeed an effective disease-identification model with practical application value. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Crop Protection, Diseases, Pests and Weeds)
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13 pages, 5609 KiB  
Article
Soil Electrical Conductivity and Satellite-Derived Vegetation Indices for Evaluation of Phosphorus, Potassium and Magnesium Content, pH, and Delineation of Within-Field Management Zones
by Piotr Mazur, Dariusz Gozdowski and Elżbieta Wójcik-Gront
Agriculture 2022, 12(6), 883; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12060883 - 19 Jun 2022
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 3157
Abstract
The optimization of soil sampling is very important in precision agriculture. The main aim of this study was to evaluate the relationships between selected spectral indices (NDWI—normalized difference water index and NDVI—normalized difference vegetation index) and apparent soil electrical conductivity (EC) with soil [...] Read more.
The optimization of soil sampling is very important in precision agriculture. The main aim of this study was to evaluate the relationships between selected spectral indices (NDWI—normalized difference water index and NDVI—normalized difference vegetation index) and apparent soil electrical conductivity (EC) with soil nutrient content (phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium) and pH. Moreover, the usefulness of these variables for the delineation of within-field management zones was assessed. The study was conducted in 2021 in central Poland at three maize fields with a total area approximately 100 ha. The analyses were performed based on 47 management zones, which were used for soil sampling. Significant positive correlations were observed between the NDVI for the bare soil and all the studied nutrient contents in the soil and pH. A very strong positive correlation was observed between the soil EC and the potassium content and a moderate correlation was found with the magnesium content. A multiple-regression analysis proved that the soil nutrient content, especially potassium and phosphorus, was strongly related to the EC and NDVI. The novelty of this study is that it proves the relationships between soil and the crop attributes, EC and NDVI, which can be measured at field scale relatively simply, and the crucial soil nutrients, phosphorus and potassium. This allows the results to be used for optimized variable-rate fertilization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Precision Agriculture Adoption Strategies)
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12 pages, 3909 KiB  
Article
Friction and Wear Properties of Wheat Straw Powder Third Body on Steel-Steel Friction Pair
by Chenglong Lian, Wei Zhao, Shumei Wang, Peng Zhang, Xiaoying Dong and Yongfeng Li
Agriculture 2022, 12(6), 882; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12060882 - 18 Jun 2022
Viewed by 2028
Abstract
Third body plant fibers have an important influence on the friction and wear properties of metal friction pairs. In this study, wheat straw powder with different particle sizes was prepared, and a pin-on-disk friction tester was employed to evaluate the friction and wear [...] Read more.
Third body plant fibers have an important influence on the friction and wear properties of metal friction pairs. In this study, wheat straw powder with different particle sizes was prepared, and a pin-on-disk friction tester was employed to evaluate the friction and wear properties of the wheat straw powder third body on steel friction pairs under various conditions. The results show that the straw powder played an isolation role in the steel–steel friction pair, which reduced the contact area between the pin and the disc and thus reduced the friction coefficient. Compared with the large particle size powder, the small particle size powder became embedded in the friction interface or in the groove caused by wear, buffered the friction stress, and reduced the friction coefficient and wear. When lubricants such as lubricating oil or lubricating grease were added, the friction coefficient was significantly reduced. Under the influence of lubricant, the particle size of straw powder had no significant effect on the wear. The results of this study can provide a reference for the third body friction and wear properties of straw powder and the design of friction pairs for metal parts. Full article
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21 pages, 17764 KiB  
Article
Impact of Fiscal Expenditure on Farmers’ Livelihood Capital in the Ethnic Minority Mountainous Region of Sichuan, China
by Shili Guo, Beibei Wang, Kui Zhou, Hui Wang, Qiuping Zeng and Dingde Xu
Agriculture 2022, 12(6), 881; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12060881 - 18 Jun 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1934
Abstract
Poverty alleviation is the first battle to realize the rural revitalization strategy in China, and research on the sustainable livelihood of rural households is of great significance to solving the problem of rural poverty. Based on the sustainable livelihood framework, the reasonable scale [...] Read more.
Poverty alleviation is the first battle to realize the rural revitalization strategy in China, and research on the sustainable livelihood of rural households is of great significance to solving the problem of rural poverty. Based on the sustainable livelihood framework, the reasonable scale and structure of fiscal expenditure is an inevitable requirement in producing sustainable livelihood capital toward this aim. In this study, the system Gaussian mixed model was used to analyze the impact of fiscal expenditure on farmers’ livelihoods. Representative survey data uses panel data from 48 counties across Liangshan Prefecture, Ganzi Prefecture, and Aba Prefecture in Sichuan, China. The results are as follows: (1) The average stock of human capital in 2010 to 2015 was the highest in the composition of farmers’ livelihood capital; (2) natural capital and physical capital were positively affected by the total scale of fiscal expenditure, agriculture, forestry, and water expenditure, and the former was negatively affected by general public service expenditure, education expenditure, social security and employment expenditure, and medical expenditure; (3) financial capital and the total amount of livelihood capital were positively affected by the total scale of fiscal expenditure, agriculture, forestry and water expenditure, education expenditure, social security and employment expenditure, and medical expenditure, and negatively affected by general public service expenditure; (4) human capital was positively affected by the total scale of fiscal expenditure, education expenditure, social security and employment expenditure, and medical expenditure; and (5) social capital was positively affected by agriculture, forestry and water expenditure, and education expenditure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecological Restoration and Rural Economic Development)
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9 pages, 1118 KiB  
Article
The Joint Application of Phosphorus and Ammonium Enhances Soybean Root Growth and P Uptake
by Ciro Antonio Rosolem, Thiago Barbosa Batista, Patrícia Pereira Dias, Laudelino Vieira da Motta Neto and Juliano Carlos Calonego
Agriculture 2022, 12(6), 880; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12060880 - 18 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2003
Abstract
It has been shown that the joint application of phosphorus (P) and ammonium (N-NH+4) increases maize root proliferation and P acquisition by maize in alkaline soils, but this has not been shown in acidic soils for legumes. A greenhouse experiment [...] Read more.
It has been shown that the joint application of phosphorus (P) and ammonium (N-NH+4) increases maize root proliferation and P acquisition by maize in alkaline soils, but this has not been shown in acidic soils for legumes. A greenhouse experiment was conducted to assess the effect of the joint application of P and NH4+ on soybean root growth and P acquisition. Soybean was grown in glass-walled pots without P, with monoammonium phosphate (MAP) and triple super phosphate (TSP) applied on the soil surface or localized. The soil P increased irrespective of the P source and localization. The rhizosphere pH was decreased by MAP, while the soil bulk pH was not affected. The TSP increased the root length by 55% and MAP by 76% over the control, and the number of root tips increased by 21% with TSP, 58% with MAP applied on the soil surface, and 78% with MAP localized. The soybean dry matter, N and P uptake, and P use efficiency were increased by P fertilization, mainly with MAP localized. The joint application of P and ammonium decreases the soybean rhizosphere pH, which results in root proliferation early in the cycle, and eventually in higher P uptake and use efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Crop Fertilization and Soil Nutrient Cycling in Farming System)
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16 pages, 1646 KiB  
Article
Pesticide Use and Associated Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Sugar Beet, Apples, and Viticulture in Austria from 2000 to 2019
by Ramona Cech, Friedrich Leisch and Johann G. Zaller
Agriculture 2022, 12(6), 879; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12060879 - 17 Jun 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 6096
Abstract
The production of synthetic pesticides is energy intensive and can emit even more greenhouse gases (GHG) per kg than the production of synthetic fertilizers. However, this aspect is largely neglected when it comes to agriculture’s contribution to GHG emissions. Using official pesticide sales [...] Read more.
The production of synthetic pesticides is energy intensive and can emit even more greenhouse gases (GHG) per kg than the production of synthetic fertilizers. However, this aspect is largely neglected when it comes to agriculture’s contribution to GHG emissions. Using official pesticide sales data from Austria from 2000 to 2019, we analyzed (i) trends in insecticide, fungicide, and herbicide use and calculated production-related GHG emissions, and (ii) the share of pesticide-related versus fertilizer-related GHG emissions in three agricultural crops with different pesticide intensities: sugar beets, apples, and grapevines. We found that between 2000 and 2019, insecticide amounts increased by 58%, fungicide amounts increased by 29%, and herbicide amounts decreased by 29%; associated GHG emissions showed similar patterns. During the same period, acreage under conventional arable crops, orchards, and vineyards decreased by an average of 19%, indicating an increase in management intensity. In intensive apple production, GHG emissions associated with pesticide production and application accounted for 51% of total GHG emissions, in viticulture 37%, and in sugar beets 12%. We have shown that GHG emissions due to pesticide production and application can be significant, especially for pesticide-intensive crops. We therefore recommend that these pesticide-derived GHG emissions should also be attributed to the agricultural sector. Full article
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11 pages, 2213 KiB  
Article
Sex and Body Colour Affect the Variation in Internal Body Temperature of Oedaleus decorus asiaticus in Natural Habitats in Inner Mongolia, China
by Yumeng Cheng, Hongmei Li, Lulu Liu, Guangjun Wang, Haojing Gu and Belinda Luke
Agriculture 2022, 12(6), 878; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12060878 - 17 Jun 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1615
Abstract
Oedaleus decorus asiaticus is one of the most harmful locusts in agricultural and pastoral areas in China. Plagues of this grasshopper can aggravate grassland degradation and cause huge damage to the livestock industry. Fungal biopesticides are seen as a suitable means of controlling [...] Read more.
Oedaleus decorus asiaticus is one of the most harmful locusts in agricultural and pastoral areas in China. Plagues of this grasshopper can aggravate grassland degradation and cause huge damage to the livestock industry. Fungal biopesticides are seen as a suitable means of controlling grasshoppers and locusts. However, the efficiency of fungal biopesticides is dependent on temperature. Currently, there is limited knowledge on the thermal biology of this grasshopper in natural habitats. In this study, ground temperature measurements were made in conjunction with measurements of internal body temperatures using thermocouples and hand-held thermometers. The grasshoppers were randomly caught during the daytime in 2017 and 2018 in eight different locations in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China. Our results indicated that the average internal body temperature of nymphs as well as adults of O. d. asiaticusis was higher than the ground temperature and that it increases/decreases with increases/decreases in ground temperature, respectively, during the daytime. Moreover, the adult internal body temperature is significantly higher than that of the nymphs at different times of the day, specifically around 6:00, 10:00, 13:00, and 18:00. Female internal body temperatures were significantly higher than those of the males by an average of 0.90 °C. Additionally, the average internal body temperature of the brown morphs was higher than that of the green morphs by approximately 1.17 °C. These findings demonstrate that brown morph insects might be more tolerant of fungal biopesticides and hence the biopesticides may take longer to kill them. Hence, ecophysiological adaptations to climate change may affect how fungal biopesticides could be used in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Crop Protection, Diseases, Pests and Weeds)
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15 pages, 2684 KiB  
Article
Effects of Nitrogen Fertilization on Physiological Response of Maize to Soil Salinity
by Kaixuan Du, Yanqun Zhang, Shanshan Qin, Lijuan Wang, Baozhong Zhang and Shuji Wang
Agriculture 2022, 12(6), 877; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12060877 - 17 Jun 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2118
Abstract
Soil salinization is a global problem that causes huge losses in agricultural production. Salt can interfere with crop absorption and metabolism of nutrients and water, affect plant physiological responses and reduce plant biomass. Maize, a very important economic crop, can adapt to a [...] Read more.
Soil salinization is a global problem that causes huge losses in agricultural production. Salt can interfere with crop absorption and metabolism of nutrients and water, affect plant physiological responses and reduce plant biomass. Maize, a very important economic crop, can adapt to a certain degree of saline-alkali soil. It is essential to understand the physiological indexes of response to soil salinity concentrations and explore the effects of different nitrogen fertilizer treatments on maize growth. In this study, three soil salinity gradients (S1, S2 and S3 were with soil salt concentration, Ssc, of 0, 0.1% and 0.25%, respectively) and two nitrogen application rates (N0 and N1 were without and with nitrogen applied (13.2 g per pot), respectively) were set up. Plant growth and photosynthetic parameters were measured. Whether nitrogen was applied or not, with the increase in Ssc, leaf area, plant height, stem diameter, SPAD, leaf water potential, RuBP carboxylase, and PEP carboxylase activities, photosynthetic rate (A), stomatal conductance (gs), the maximum stomatal conductance (gsmax), and the stomatal morphological parameters such as stomatal width and maximum stomatal area (amax), all showed a downward trend. Under the S1 and S2 treatments, compared with the N0, the N1 treatment alleviated the stress effect of the Ssc on these indicators. However, under S3 treatment, the stress degrees of leaf water potential, gs, gsmax and amax, were aggravated after nitrogen application. This indicated that under the high Ssc of S3, the interaction between nitrogen application and soil salinity should be considered. WUEin increased with the increase in Ssc. Moreover, under N1 treatments, the increase in WUEin with Ssc was greater than that with N0. With the increase in Ssc, whether nitrogen was applied or not, the dry weight of maize declined by 44.2% and 73.0%, respectively, for the S2 and S3 treatments. Under S2 treatment, N1 significantly improved the dry matter mass of maize compared with the N0 treatment. The results showed that soil salt stress can inhibit crop growth, physiology and dry matter accumulation, and that nitrogen application can alleviate this within a specific salinity range. Such results indicate that in saline-alkali areas, whether nitrogen fertilizer is applied or not should depend on the level of Ssc to improve plant growth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water-Saving Irrigation Technology and Strategies for Crop Production)
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21 pages, 10515 KiB  
Article
How Perceived Stress Affects Farmers’ Continual Adoption of Farmland Quality Improvement Practices
by Na Li and Caixia Xue
Agriculture 2022, 12(6), 876; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12060876 - 17 Jun 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1591
Abstract
Regarding the fact that smallholder farmers form the main part of agriculture, actively guiding smallholder farmers to continually adopt the farmland quality improvement practice in their agricultural production process is considered as the critical path to improve farmland sustainability for the agricultural sector [...] Read more.
Regarding the fact that smallholder farmers form the main part of agriculture, actively guiding smallholder farmers to continually adopt the farmland quality improvement practice in their agricultural production process is considered as the critical path to improve farmland sustainability for the agricultural sector in China especially smallholder farmers planting economic crops, such as tea, that have long relied on heavy inputs of chemical fertilizers that seriously undermine the quality of farmland. However, the state efforts towards the promotion of farmers’ adoption of farmland quality improvement practices for years have not obtained remarkable results. In this context, based on expectation confirmation theory and conservation of resources theory, the study classified farmers’ perceived stress towards continual adoption of farmland quality improvement practice into three categories: stress from uselessness perception, difficulty perception, and in-adaptability perception. A structural equation model was utilized to explore the impact of perceived stress on farmers’ continual adoption of the practice in a sample of 494 tea farmers from Qinba Mountain Area in China. Additionally, the mediating effect of self-efficacy and moderating effect of social support are discussed theoretically and empirically in the paper. The research findings show that the stress from in-adaptability perception has the strongest inhibitory effect of the three on farmers’ continual behavior while the stress from difficulty perception is the weakest. Further, the mediating effect of self-efficacy in the relationship between perceived stress and farmers’ continual adoption behaviors was confirmed. Additionally, the study indicated that social support can buffer the negative impact of perceived stress from uselessness perception and difficulty perception on farmers‘ continual adoption behaviors. Therefore, fully considering farmers’ perceived stress, providing farmers with support in a targeted manner, would strengthen the coordination between the government and the household on farmland improvement practices, accelerating the achievement of farmland sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Insurance, Risk Management and Sustainable Development)
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19 pages, 7271 KiB  
Article
Design of and Experiments with an Automatic Cuttage Device for an Arch Shed Pillar with Force Feedback
by Kezhou Chen, Xing Liu, Shiteng Jin, Longfei Li, Xin He, Tao Wang, Guopeng Mi, Yinggang Shi and Wei Li
Agriculture 2022, 12(6), 875; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12060875 - 17 Jun 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1683
Abstract
In order to realize the automatic cutting of arch shed pillars, an automatic cuttage device for an arch shed pillar with force feedback was designed in this study. First, the wind resistance of the arch shed was simulated and analyzed using ANSYS, and [...] Read more.
In order to realize the automatic cutting of arch shed pillars, an automatic cuttage device for an arch shed pillar with force feedback was designed in this study. First, the wind resistance of the arch shed was simulated and analyzed using ANSYS, and the cuttage depth of the arch shed pillar was determined. According to the environment for the cuttage operation of the arch shed pillar and the agronomic requirements, such as the arch shed span, arch shed height, and cuttage depth, the function, structure, and basic design parameters of the arch shed automatic cuttage device were determined. Then, to reduce the damage rate of the pillar and achieve equal-depth cuttage, a force feedback system for the actuator of the cuttage device was constructed to estimate the cuttage resistance and depth in real time. To reduce the impact of the starting and stopping of each motor in the actuator, trajectory planning of the execution end in the pillar transfer stage was performed in the Cartesian coordinate system. The motion law of portal trajectory based on the Láme curve was analyzed, and MATLAB simulations were used to solve the relevant motion parameters. In addition, the modality of key components of the cuttage device was simulated and analyzed by using the SOLIDWORKS simulation plug-in. Finally, the experimental prototype was constructed according to the simulation results. The simulation and field cuttage experiments showed that the cuttage device produced equal-depth cuttage for the arch shed pillar, where the depth of the arch shed pillar was 10 cm, the average cuttage time of a single pillar was 6.2 s, and the error of the cuttage depth was ±0.5 cm in wet soil. The operation of the device was stable, as evidenced by the smooth and mutation-free operation trajectory and speed curve of the execution end. The results of the modal experiment suggest that resonance would not occur during the operation for resonance frequencies between 303 Hz and 565 Hz. This arch shed pillar automatic cuttage device has an optimal operation performance and meets the agronomic requirements of arch shed pillar cuttage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Agricultural Engineering Technologies and Application)
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22 pages, 411 KiB  
Review
Essential Oils in Broiler Chicken Production, Immunity and Meat Quality: Review of Thymus vulgaris, Origanum vulgare, and Rosmarinus officinalis
by Nikola Puvača, Vincenzo Tufarelli and Ilias Giannenas
Agriculture 2022, 12(6), 874; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12060874 - 17 Jun 2022
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 5088
Abstract
The use of essential oils in animal nutrition has attracted attention as a potential substitute for antibiotic growth promoters in the past twenty-five years. This paper will review the current scientific evidence on the usage of essential oils from Lamiaceae family members such [...] Read more.
The use of essential oils in animal nutrition has attracted attention as a potential substitute for antibiotic growth promoters in the past twenty-five years. This paper will review the current scientific evidence on the usage of essential oils from Lamiaceae family members such as Thymus vulgaris (thyme), Origanum vulgare (oregano), and Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) in broiler nutrition in terms of production results, immunity, and meat quality properties. Essential oils are effective in broiler nutrition when incorporated into the diet on a variety of levels, such as dietary composition, level of feed inclusion, and bird genetics. Moreover, the efficacy of essential oils is influenced by many factors, such as the composition of the oil. Due to big differences in the composition and sources of essential oils, comparing different studies using them can be challenging. Therefore, biological effects may differ significantly. Despite this, a great deal of research supports essential oils’ potential use as natural, antibiotic-free growth promoters for broilers. Growth promotion mechanisms are still not clearly understood as there is limited information on essential oils’ effect on nutrient digestibility, gut function, and the immune system. There is no question that essential oil consumption can reduce pathogen growth in the gut, but their effects on the intricate gut ecosystem as yet remain unclear. This review concludes with further recommendations regarding the application of dietary essential oils in broiler nutrition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New and Alternative Feeds, Additives, and Supplements)
10 pages, 1555 KiB  
Article
Plant Growth-Promoting Bacterium from Non-Agricultural Soil Improves Okra Plant Growth
by Heba Adel AlAli, Ashraf Khalifa and Mohammed Almalki
Agriculture 2022, 12(6), 873; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12060873 - 16 Jun 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2892
Abstract
Beneficial soil microorganisms influence nutrient recycling, soil fertility, plant growth, and productivity and reduce chemical fertilizer application. This study aimed to isolate bacteria from non-agricultural soils in the Al-Ahsa region and characterize the bacteria with the best biostimulating characteristics at the physiological, biochemical, [...] Read more.
Beneficial soil microorganisms influence nutrient recycling, soil fertility, plant growth, and productivity and reduce chemical fertilizer application. This study aimed to isolate bacteria from non-agricultural soils in the Al-Ahsa region and characterize the bacteria with the best biostimulating characteristics at the physiological, biochemical, and molecular level. DPM17, a bacterial isolate, promotes plant growth through phosphate solubilization, nitrogen fixation, and ammonia production. DPM17 also produces the phytohormones, indole acetic acid (IAA; 4.516 μg mL−1) and gibberellin (1.33 µg mL−1), and ammonia (0.06 µg mL−1). Additionally, DPM17 grows in the presence of up to 10% NaCl, indicating its halophilic nature. DPM17 was identified as Bacillus baekryungensis based on comparative sequence analysis of the 16S rRNA gene, and neighbor-joining phylogenetic analyses indicated that DPM17 was 96.51% identified to Bacillus sp. DPM17 inoculation substantially improved Abelmoschus esculentus (okra) root length, lateral root count, and dry weight from 7.03 to 9.41 (p = 0.03), 3.2 to 7.2, and 6 to 13 mg (p = 0.032), respectively. The results suggest that DPM17 enhances plant growth and can be exploited to develop efficient formulations for sustainable agriculture and food security in Saudi Arabia. Full article
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10 pages, 744 KiB  
Article
Causality in Relation to Futures and Cash Prices in the Wheat Market
by Anna Szczepańska-Przekota
Agriculture 2022, 12(6), 872; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12060872 - 16 Jun 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2096
Abstract
Mutual interactions between the agricultural commodities futures market and the spot market are some of the most important relationships that can be observed between the financial market and the real economy. The process of the flow of price impulses between these markets has [...] Read more.
Mutual interactions between the agricultural commodities futures market and the spot market are some of the most important relationships that can be observed between the financial market and the real economy. The process of the flow of price impulses between these markets has long been of interest to researchers. It is important both for stock market investors and agricultural producers, as well as for decision-makers responsible for food policy. The studies conducted so far do not provide unambiguous answers about the strength and direction of flows of price impulses. This is one example of the need for continuous process monitoring. Therefore, the aim of the study was to identify the process of the flow of price impulses between the futures market and the wheat spot market. The study was carried out based on the US example. The futures prices from the CBOT exchange and the wheat producer price index were analyzed. The data covers the period between 01.2010 and 01.2022. The Granger causality test and the VAR model were used for the study. The results are in the minority, as a causal relationship was obtained from the spot market to the futures market, which is a less common result. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Food Marketing, Economics and Policies)
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15 pages, 3137 KiB  
Article
Nutrient Utilization and Double Cropping Rice Yield Response to Dense Planting with a Decreased Nitrogen Rate in Two Different Ecological Regions of South China
by Kang Luo, Yongjun Zeng, Ziming Wu, Lin Guo, Xiaobing Xie, Qinghua Shi and Xiaohua Pan
Agriculture 2022, 12(6), 871; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12060871 - 16 Jun 2022
Viewed by 1664
Abstract
An increased planting density and decreased nitrogen (N) rate combination may obtain a stable yield and enhance N utilization. However, the effects of an increased planting density and decreased N rate combination on the yield and nutrient utilization in different ecological regions are [...] Read more.
An increased planting density and decreased nitrogen (N) rate combination may obtain a stable yield and enhance N utilization. However, the effects of an increased planting density and decreased N rate combination on the yield and nutrient utilization in different ecological regions are unclear. The aim of this research was to assess the interactive impacts of the N rates and planting densities on double cropping rice yields and nutrient utilization in two ecological regions in field experiments during 2018 and 2019. The results showed that, at Shanggao, increased planting densities of 67% and 200% compensated for the biomass, nutrient uptake and yield losses from N application reductions of 20% and 27% and increased the nutrient utilization of the early and late seasons. However, at Xingguo, compared with the N2D1 treatment (165 kg ha−1 with 57 plants per m2), the late rice yield under the N1D2 treatment (120 kg ha−1 with 114 plants per m2) decreased by 6.71% and 5.02% in 2018 and 2019, respectively. The photosynthetic rate and nutrient uptake were likely related to the positive interaction on the double cropping rice yield in the two ecological regions. Our results indicate that dense planting is a feasible cultivation strategy to decrease N inputs for double cropping rice, but the low soil nutrient supplies negatively affect stable yields in different ecological regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Crop Production)
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20 pages, 2866 KiB  
Article
Simulation Parameter Calibration and Experimental Study of a Discrete Element Model of Cotton Precision Seed Metering
by Shenghe Bai, Yanwei Yuan, Kang Niu, Liming Zhou, Bo Zhao, Liguo Wei, Lijing Liu, Shi Xiong, Zenglu Shi, Yihua Ma, Yuankun Zheng and Gaoyong Xing
Agriculture 2022, 12(6), 870; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12060870 - 16 Jun 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1813
Abstract
To improve the accuracy of the parameters used in the discrete element simulation test, this study calibrated the simulation parameters of cotton seeds by combining a physical test and simulation test. Based on the intrinsic parameters used for the physical test of cotton [...] Read more.
To improve the accuracy of the parameters used in the discrete element simulation test, this study calibrated the simulation parameters of cotton seeds by combining a physical test and simulation test. Based on the intrinsic parameters used for the physical test of cotton seed, according to the freefall collision method, inclined plane sliding method, and inclined plane rolling method, the contact parameters of cotton seeds and cotton seeds, stainless steel, and nylon were measured, respectively. The physical test of the accumulation angle and angle of repose of the cotton seeds was conducted. It was obtained to process the image of the seed pile with Matrix Laboratory software. The Plackett–Burman test was used to screen the significance of the simulation parameters. The optimal value range of the significant parameters was determined according to the steepest climbing test. The second-order regression model of the significant parameters, the stacking-angle error, and the angle-of-repose error were obtained according to the Box–Behnken design test. Taking the minimum stacking-angle error and angle-of-repose error as the optimization target values, the following optimal parameter combination was obtained: the interspecies collision recovery coefficient was 0.413, the interspecies static friction coefficient was 0.695, and the interspecies rolling friction coefficient was 0.214. Three repetitive simulation experiments were conducted to prove the reliability of the calibration results. The research results can be used for discrete element simulation experiments for cotton precision seed metering. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Agricultural Technology)
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21 pages, 2567 KiB  
Article
Multi-Residue Determination of 244 Chemical Contaminants in Chicken Eggs by Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry after Effective Lipid Clean-Up
by Lin Zhang, Qi Jia, Guangqin Liao, Yongzhong Qian and Jing Qiu
Agriculture 2022, 12(6), 869; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12060869 - 16 Jun 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2056
Abstract
In this study, we aimed to establish a multi-residue analytical method for the simultaneous detection of chemical contaminants in eggs. Using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS), we developed an analytical method that can separate 244 compounds (including β-agonists (25), imidazole and benzimidazoles (31), [...] Read more.
In this study, we aimed to establish a multi-residue analytical method for the simultaneous detection of chemical contaminants in eggs. Using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS), we developed an analytical method that can separate 244 compounds (including β-agonists (25), imidazole and benzimidazoles (31), sulfonamides (22), antihistamines (10), β-lactam (5), insecticides (7), quinolones (24), non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (13), and steroidal hormones (38)) within 30 min. A new enhanced matrix removal-lipid (EMR-Lipid) material was used as a purified sorbent in the QuEChERS clean-up method. Excellent linearity (r > 0.9905) was achieved. Additionally, recoveries ranged between 51.33% and 118.28%, with repeatability (RSDr) and reproducibility (RSDwR) in the range of 1.01–14.22% and 1.08–14.96%, respectively. In all of the compounds, low limits of quantification (LOQs) ≤ 5 μg kg−1 were found. Meanwhile, the detection limit (CCα) and detection capability (CCβ) were 1.88–40.60 μg kg−1 and 2.85–407.19 μg kg−1, respectively. In conclusion, the evaluated method was shown to provide reliable screening, quantification, and identification of 244 multi-class chemicals in eggs and was successfully applied in real samples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Agricultural Product Quality and Safety)
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15 pages, 2525 KiB  
Article
Farrowing Pens for Individually Loose-Housed Sows: Results on the Development of the SowComfort Farrowing Pen
by Inger Lise Andersen and Marko Ocepek
Agriculture 2022, 12(6), 868; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12060868 - 15 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2863
Abstract
The objective of the present paper was to discuss the design of farrowing pens and present the first production results of the “SowComfort farrowing pen” (SOWCOMF). The biggest difference between this pen and the traditional pen (TRAD) presented in the study, is that [...] Read more.
The objective of the present paper was to discuss the design of farrowing pens and present the first production results of the “SowComfort farrowing pen” (SOWCOMF). The biggest difference between this pen and the traditional pen (TRAD) presented in the study, is that SOWCOMF contains a nest area equipped with a rubber mattress, floor heating, a rack for straw and no separate creep area. It was predicted that SOWCOMF would result in lower piglet mortality compared to TRAD due to a more stimulating and comfortable environment, and that the use of rubber mats in SOWCOMF would reduce the incidence of carpal joint lesions of the piglets. Results from both farms showed that percent mortality of live born piglets was lower in SOWCOMF than TRAD (p = 0.004), especially due to starvation (p < 0.0001) and other causes (p < 0.0001). In contrast, percentage of overlying was higher in SOWCOMF (p < 0.0001). The lower incidence of starved piglets in SOWCOMF than TRAD can possibly be explained by more sow-initiated communication with the piglets (p < 0.001). Most causes of mortality declined over consecutive batches. Percentage of piglets per litter without carpal lesions were significantly higher in the SOWCOMF than in TRAD (p < 0.0001), showing that rubber mats provide more protection of carpal joints. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Farm Animal Production)
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15 pages, 2125 KiB  
Article
Structural Design and Simulation of Pneumatic Conveying Line for a Paddy Side-Deep Fertilisation System
by Qingzhen Zhu, Hengyuan Zhang, Zhihao Zhu, Yuanyuan Gao and Liping Chen
Agriculture 2022, 12(6), 867; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12060867 - 15 Jun 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1929
Abstract
To improve the consistency of sectional gas velocities in different rows in the pneumatic conveying line for a paddy side-deep fertilisation system, a new airflow equaliser was designed based on the mechanism of gas flow in ventilation engineering. Subsequently, the effects of key [...] Read more.
To improve the consistency of sectional gas velocities in different rows in the pneumatic conveying line for a paddy side-deep fertilisation system, a new airflow equaliser was designed based on the mechanism of gas flow in ventilation engineering. Subsequently, the effects of key structural parameters and a position parameter of the airflow equaliser on the consistency of sectional gas velocities in different rows were investigated using the method of single-factor tests in Fluent, which provided a reasonable range for the next orthogonal test (notch angle (A): 120–180°, extended length (B): 18–30 mm and distance between adjacent branches (C): 120–160 mm). Thereafter, the parameters were optimised through an orthogonal test, using the coefficient of variation of the consistency of the sectional gas velocities in different rows (CV) as an indicator and using Fluent software. The results revealed that the order of primary and secondary factors was evaluated as B > A × B > C > A, and when A, B and C were selected as 150°, 30 mm and 120 mm, respectively, the consistency of the sectional gas velocities in different rows could get a very effective result (CV = 7.07%). Finally, to validate the feasibility of simulations of the performance of the airflow equalisers and to practically evaluate the contribution of the optimised airflow equalisers to improve the consistency of the sectional gas velocities in different rows, a bench test for the line with the optimised airflow equalisers and a simulation test for the line without the optimised airflow equalisers were carried out and the results showed that the CV values were 9.53%, 20.69%, respectively. It concluded that the optimised airflow equalisers could significantly improve the consistency of the sectional gas velocities in different rows by comparing the CV in the three tests including the simulation test for the line with the optimised airflow equalisers. This research provides a good reference for optimising the pneumatic conveying line for a paddy side-deep fertilisation system. Full article
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23 pages, 1922 KiB  
Article
A Conceptual Model for Development of Small Farm Management Information System: A Case of Indonesian Smallholder Chili Farmers
by Henriyadi Henriyadi, Vatcharaporn Esichaikul and Chutiporn Anutariya
Agriculture 2022, 12(6), 866; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12060866 - 15 Jun 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3073
Abstract
Farm Management Information Systems (FMIS) assists farmers in managing their farms more effectively and efficiently. However, the use of FMIS to support crop cultivation is, at the present time, relatively expensive for smallholder farmers. Due to some handicaps, providing an FMIS that is [...] Read more.
Farm Management Information Systems (FMIS) assists farmers in managing their farms more effectively and efficiently. However, the use of FMIS to support crop cultivation is, at the present time, relatively expensive for smallholder farmers. Due to some handicaps, providing an FMIS that is suitable for small-holder farmers is a challenge. To analyze this gap, this study followed 3 steps, namely: (1) identified commodity and research area, (2) performed Farmers’ Information Needs Assessment (FINA), and (3) developed the conceptual model using the Soft System Methodology. Indonesian smallholder chili farmers are used as a case study. The most required information of smallholder’ farmers was identified through a qualitative questionnaire. Despite this, not all identified information needs could be accurately mapped. Thus, this indicates the need for a new FMIS conceptual model that is suitable for smallholder farmers. This study proposes an FMIS conceptual model for farm efficiency that incorporates five layers, namely farmers’ information needs, data quality assessment, data extraction, SMM (split, match and merge), and presentation layer. SMM layer also provides a method to comprehensively tackle three main problems in data interoperability problems, namely schema heterogeneity, schema granularity, and mismatch entity naming. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Internet and Computers for Agriculture)
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16 pages, 1610 KiB  
Article
Humic and Acetic Acids Have the Potential to Enhance Deterioration of Select Plastic Soil-Biodegradable Mulches in a Mediterranean Climate
by Brenda Madrid, Huan Zhang, Carol A. Miles, Michael Kraft, Deirdre Griffin-LaHue and Lisa Wasko DeVetter
Agriculture 2022, 12(6), 865; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12060865 - 15 Jun 2022
Viewed by 2418
Abstract
The perceived variability of plastic soil-biodegradable mulch (BDM) degradation has generated concerns about its functionality and sustainability, especially in climates and regions where biodegradation may be limited. This study evaluated the effects of surface-applied products (compost tea, dairy-based compost, humic and acetic acids) [...] Read more.
The perceived variability of plastic soil-biodegradable mulch (BDM) degradation has generated concerns about its functionality and sustainability, especially in climates and regions where biodegradation may be limited. This study evaluated the effects of surface-applied products (compost tea, dairy-based compost, humic and acetic acids) on the surface deterioration and visible degradation of three plastic BDMs (BASF 0.6, Novamont 0.6, and Novamont 0.7) and one cellulose paper mulch (WeedGuard Plus) in a Mediterranean climate. Deterioration was monitored for 10 months, and degradation was evaluated 6- and 12 months following soil incorporation. Deterioration varied between the two years of the study; however, the average deterioration for WeedGuard Plus reached 100%, BASF 0.6 and Novamont 0.6 achieved ≥80%, while Novamont 0.7 reached ≥70%. Application of humic and acetic acids increased BASF 0.6 deterioration, but only humic acid increased Novamont 0.7 deterioration. Scanning electron microscopy of mulch surfaces demonstrated evidence of microbial colonization; however, the surface-applied products did not enhance microbial counts. In-soil degradation of BDMs was inconsistent, but faster degradation occurred overall for starch- and polybutylene adipate-co-terephthalate (PBAT)-based BDMs. Future studies should continue to explore on-farm strategies to enhance in-soil degradation to meet the production system’s goals. Full article
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