Editor's Choice Articles

Editor’s Choice articles are based on recommendations by the scientific editors of MDPI journals from around the world. Editors select a small number of articles recently published in the journal that they believe will be particularly interesting to authors, or important in this field. The aim is to provide a snapshot of some of the most exciting work published in the various research areas of the journal.

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Article
Sen2Grass: A Cloud-Based Solution to Generate Field-Specific Grassland Information Derived from Sentinel-2 Imagery
AgriEngineering 2021, 3(1), 118-137; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriengineering3010008 - 16 Mar 2021
Cited by 2
Abstract
Grasslands are important for their ecological values and for agricultural activities such as livestock production worldwide. Efficient grassland management is vital to these values and activities, and remote sensing technologies are increasingly being used to characterize the spatiotemporal variation of grasslands to support [...] Read more.
Grasslands are important for their ecological values and for agricultural activities such as livestock production worldwide. Efficient grassland management is vital to these values and activities, and remote sensing technologies are increasingly being used to characterize the spatiotemporal variation of grasslands to support those management practices. For this study, Sentinel-2 satellite imagery was used as an input to develop an open-source and automated monitoring system (Sen2Grass) to gain field-specific grassland information on the national and regional level for any given time range as of January 2016. This system was implemented in a cloud-computing platform (StellaSpark Nexus) designed to process large geospatial data streams from a variety of sources and was tested for a number of parcels from the Haus Riswick experimental farm in Germany. Despite outliers due to fluctuating weather conditions, vegetation index time series suggested four distinct growing cycles per growing season. Established relationships between vegetation indices and grassland yield showed poor to moderate positive trends, implying that vegetation indices could be a potential predictor for grassland biomass and chlorophyll content. However, the inclusion of larger and additional datasets such as Sentinel-1 imagery could be beneficial to developing more robust prediction models and for automatic detection of mowing events for grasslands. Full article
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Article
Effect of Ploughing Techniques on Water Use and Yield of Rice in Maugo Small-Holder Irrigation Scheme, Kenya
AgriEngineering 2021, 3(1), 110-117; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriengineering3010007 - 03 Mar 2021
Cited by 13
Abstract
The objective of this study was to determine the effect of paddy rice ploughing techniques on water use and the yield of rice crop, as well as water use efficiency for rice growing in small-holder irrigation schemes. The study was conducted at a [...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to determine the effect of paddy rice ploughing techniques on water use and the yield of rice crop, as well as water use efficiency for rice growing in small-holder irrigation schemes. The study was conducted at a farmer’s field in Powo B sub-block of Maugo Irrigation Scheme. The period of study was from July 2019 to January 2020, which is the rice season. The experimental site was located in the vicinity of Olare Shopping Centre, Kamenya Sub-location, Kochia East Location, Kochia Ward, Rangwe Sub-County, Homa Bay County, Nyanza Region, Kenya in Maugo rice scheme in Kenya. In the study, four irrigation tillage practices were applied: ox-plough, conventional ox-plough, hand hoe and tractor ploughing. The results showed that conventional ox-ploughing consumed the highest amount of water at 1240 mm. The highest water use efficiency of 0.49 kg/m3 and highest yield of 5.7 tons/ha were observed for hand hoe ploughing. Use of the hand hoe ploughing technique increased yields by 20 percent, as compared to the conventional ox-ploughing. Therefore, the use of water for ploughing is not necessary in the study area. Future research will be needed to see how farmers are adopting the technology before scaling up to full mechanization, as partial mechanization was not profitable. Full article
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