Special Issue "Selected Papers from Engineering for Rural Development"

A special issue of Agriculture (ISSN 2077-0472).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Aivars Āboltiņš
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Agricultural Machinery, Faculty of Engineering, Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies, Jelgava, Latvia
Interests: heat-mass transport; mathematical modeling; drying process; solar collectors; agriculture emission
Dr. Francesco Marinello
E-Mail Website1 Website2 Website3
Guest Editor
Department of Land, Environment, Agriculture and Forestry, University of Padua, 35122 Padua, Italy
Interests: precision agriculture; agricultural mechanization; sensors; automation; unmanned aerial vehicles; Blockchain
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Andrea Pezzuolo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Land, Environment, Agriculture and Forestry, University of Padova, Padova, Italy
Interests: agricultural and livestock engineering; rural buildings; GHG emissions; agro-environmental sustainability; by-products, biomass and renewable energies
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Special Issue will comprise selected papers that will be presented during the 20th International Scientific Conference “Engineering for Rural Development”. The Conference will be held on 26–28 May 2021 at the Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies, Faculty of Engineering, Jelgava (http://www.tf.llu.lv/conference/).

The 20th International Scientific Conference “Engineering for Rural Development” is thematically dedicated to issues of Biosystem Engineering, Renewable/Conventional Energy, GHG Emissions/Waste Management, and Modeling/Simulation, with a special focus on rural environments. A special focus is  on the following topics:

  • Agricultural/livestock engineering;
  • Renewable/conventional energy;
  • GHG emission and waste management;
  • Agriengineering technologies/sensors;
  • Material/biomaterial science;
  • Transport and logistics;
  • Modelling and simulation;
  • CAD, CAE, CAM, CNC, PDM, PLM, BIM, GIS, and other computer aided technologies in engineering;
  • Engineering education/economics.

The purpose of this Special Issue is to more widely introduce the new theoretical and practical engineering solutions in agriculture.

Dr. Aivars Āboltiņš
Dr. Francesco Marinello
Dr. Andrea Pezzuolo
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

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

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Definition of Reference Models for Power, Mass, Working Width, and Price for Tillage Implements
Agriculture 2021, 11(3), 197; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11030197 - 27 Feb 2021
Viewed by 437
Abstract
Farm machinery selection, operation and management directly impact crop cultivation processes and outputs. A priori quantification of technical and financial needs allows definition of proportionate distribution and management of available resources and simplification of selection process. Appropriate planning, association and adjustment of the [...] Read more.
Farm machinery selection, operation and management directly impact crop cultivation processes and outputs. A priori quantification of technical and financial needs allows definition of proportionate distribution and management of available resources and simplification of selection process. Appropriate planning, association and adjustment of the power unit and implement are required for soil cultivation. Consideration of functional parameters of the implement, their proper estimation and operation directly impact the soil structure, productivity and return on investment. Thus, a modelling approach was implemented for the definition of possible parameter-price relations for tillage equipment. The performed analysis allowed us to investigate the main relevant parameters, quantify their impact, and elaborate forecasting models for price, power, mass and working width. The significant relevance of the technical parameters and adjustment issues were outlined for each tillage implement group. For harrows and cultivators, the dependencies between studied parameters expressed better predictive qualities, especially for price-mass relation (R² > 0.8). While for ploughs power and mass relation had a primary output (R² = 0.7). The prediction features of the models provided reliable results for the estimation of the indicative values of the price and parameters of the implements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from Engineering for Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle
Experimental Investigation of Plow-Chopping Unit
Agriculture 2021, 11(1), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11010030 - 04 Jan 2021
Viewed by 446
Abstract
The article presents research results of a machine-tractor unit that performs two technological operations simultaneously: (i) chopping plant residues (sunflower stubble); (ii) covering the chopped stubble with the soil. The first operation is carried out with a front-mounted plant residues chopper, and the [...] Read more.
The article presents research results of a machine-tractor unit that performs two technological operations simultaneously: (i) chopping plant residues (sunflower stubble); (ii) covering the chopped stubble with the soil. The first operation is carried out with a front-mounted plant residues chopper, and the second one is carried out with a rear-mounted plough. The chopper’s working devices are rotated by the tractor’s front power take-off (PTO), which has two operating modes: 540 and 1000 rpm. It was determined that to reduce the dynamic load in the drive of the chopper’s plant residues working devices, to chop these residues qualitatively, and then to cover them with the soil, the tractor’s front PTO should be adjusted to a speed of 1000 rpm. With this mode of the chopper’s working device’s rotation, the difference in its vertical vibrations’ dispersion and the tractor front axle’s oscillations is insignificant. The variance of the plowing depth vibrations (1.44 cm2), changing aperiodically in the frequency range of 0–2.5 Hz, is not accidentally less than the variance of irregularities vibrations of the longitudinal field profile (2.75 cm2). The plough draft resistant oscillations of the plow-chopping unit had the least impaction at the plowing depth oscillations. The proof of this is the small value of the cross correlation function; for such oscillating processes as ‘plough draft resistance—plowing depth’, it was equal to 0.22, which is 3.4 times less than for oscillating processes ‘surface’s longitudinal profile—plowing depth’. The number of chopped particles less than 15 cm in length increased by 1.5 times, and the number of particles longer than 30 cm decreased by 3 times. With the complete incorporation of plant residues into the soil, their non-chopped part did not exceed 1%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from Engineering for Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle
Applying a Mathematical Model to Compare, Choose, and Optimize the Management and Economics of Milking Parlors in Dairy Farms
Agriculture 2020, 10(10), 472; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10100472 - 13 Oct 2020
Viewed by 690
Abstract
Dairy farms are growing in several areas of the world, with consequent need for a modernization of milking equipment. The objective of this research is to evaluate milking parlors in current and future situations in modern farms. Several Italian farms were studied: three [...] Read more.
Dairy farms are growing in several areas of the world, with consequent need for a modernization of milking equipment. The objective of this research is to evaluate milking parlors in current and future situations in modern farms. Several Italian farms were studied: three farms with side-by-side milking parlors (50 cows, 82 cows, and 100 cows), two with herringbone milking parlors (70 cows and 90 cows) and two with rotary milking parlors (360 cows and 900 cows). The choosing and evaluation of milking parlor parameters is based on results of previous research, using the mathematical model developed in the Czech University. The time for milking and the final specific direct costs are the main parameters which enable evaluation and choosing of suitable milking parlor from the dairy; neglect or promotion of only one of the mentioned criteria may lead to uneconomic investment or impaired operation of a farm. The evaluation of existing milking parlors can help to enhance the milking process and operations from the point of view of either technical improvement or improved activity of milkers. The results of measurement and calculation in current farms are compared with possible future enlarged farms. The study demonstrated that increasing the capacity of dairy farms enables a reduction of the final specific direct costs for milking. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from Engineering for Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle
Experimental Study of Disc Fertilizer Spreader Performance
Agriculture 2020, 10(10), 467; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10100467 - 12 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 773 | Correction
Abstract
We report the experimental results of tests aimed at assessing the effects of different settings on the mean radius of mineral fertilizer distribution using a disc fertilizer spreader. Our aim was to improve the performance of fertilizer distribution in sustainable agriculture. Three types [...] Read more.
We report the experimental results of tests aimed at assessing the effects of different settings on the mean radius of mineral fertilizer distribution using a disc fertilizer spreader. Our aim was to improve the performance of fertilizer distribution in sustainable agriculture. Three types of mineral fertilizers with different physical characteristics, commonly used in agriculture, were considered: urea, calcium ammonium nitrate and ammonium sulfate. A complete randomization method based on a four-factor experimental model was used to study the influence of the functional and operational parameters on the mean radius of fertilizer spread. Fixed model analysis of variance showed that fertilizer type, vane configuration and disc angular velocity explained 91.74% of the variance of the spread mean radius, while linear multiple regression analysis highlighted that the fertilizer dust fraction and disc angular velocity had an overall effect of 82.72%, the former showing an inverse correlation as high as 72.77%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from Engineering for Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle
A Mathematical Model of Plane-Parallel Movement of the Tractor Aggregate Modular Type
Agriculture 2020, 10(10), 454; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10100454 - 02 Oct 2020
Viewed by 584
Abstract
The new machine-and-tractor aggregate of a modular type, developed by us, consisting of the power and the technological modules, can significantly increase the efficiency of using the tractor when it is aggregated with a five-body plough. The new design solution for connecting these [...] Read more.
The new machine-and-tractor aggregate of a modular type, developed by us, consisting of the power and the technological modules, can significantly increase the efficiency of using the tractor when it is aggregated with a five-body plough. The new design solution for connecting these modules in a horizontal plane through a damper, consisting of a hydraulic cylinder and a throttle, allows significant increasing of the movement stability of this aggregate in a transverse-horizontal plane. To test the efficient operation of the proposed design, as well as to determine the kinematic and design parameters that provide the required level of stable movement of this modular machine-and-tractor aggregate, we carried out theoretical and experimental field investigations. For this, a new mathematical model of plane-parallel movement of the machine-and-tractor aggregate of this type was built. It was found that a change in the operating speed of this aggregate during ploughing from 1.0 to 3.0 m∙s−1 does not lead to a deterioration in the stability of the movement of either the technological or, especially, the power modules. The delay in the reaction of the power module of the machine-and-tractor aggregate of the modular type is practically invariant with respect to the change in the mode of movement of this aggregate within the range 1–3 m∙s−1. It was also found that the values of the tire slip resistance coefficients of the wheels of the power module do not have a noticeable impact upon the development of fluctuations of the disturbing moment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from Engineering for Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle
Modelling of Harvesting Machines’ Technical Parameters and Prices
Agriculture 2020, 10(6), 194; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10060194 - 01 Jun 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 699
Abstract
Technical and performance parameters of agricultural machines directly impact the operational efficiency and entire crop production. Sometimes, overestimation of technical and dimensional parameters of harvesting equipment is carried out with the intention of enhancing the operational efficiency, but this approach might turn out [...] Read more.
Technical and performance parameters of agricultural machines directly impact the operational efficiency and entire crop production. Sometimes, overestimation of technical and dimensional parameters of harvesting equipment is carried out with the intention of enhancing the operational efficiency, but this approach might turn out to negatively impact productivity due to unbalanced system design, and ultimately lead to financial losses. Therefore, a balanced preliminary estimation of technical parameters of equipment needs to be carried out before investment quantification, especially on the large capital-intensive machinery units, such as harvesting systems. In addition, availability of ready to use, simplified models for the price estimation from input technical parameters would reduce the complexity involved in this latter analysis. The current study is an attempt to provide tools to address these issues. A large dataset of combine and forage harvesters has been analyzed to investigate relevant parameter-to-parameter and parameter-to-price relations. The study of the available data allowed the determination of indicative models for the estimation of machine price, power, weight, tank capacity and working width. A significant correlation between power and price (R2 > 0.8) has been observed for two groups of harvesting machines. For combine harvesters, satisfactory correlations were found between power and weight, and power and tank capacity. A regression model for combine harvesters showed a satisfactory behavior at predicting the average working width that can be operated by a given power. On the other hand, for the forage harvesting group, the relation between these quantities has lower values; therefore, for better accuracy of the association, more sophisticated considerations should be incorporated, taking into account other parameters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from Engineering for Rural Development)
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