Smart Farming Technologies for Sustainable Agriculture

A special issue of Agronomy (ISSN 2073-4395). This special issue belongs to the section "Precision and Digital Agriculture".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2024) | Viewed by 7183

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Agricultural Research Institute, Rural Development Section, P.O. Box 22016, Nicosia 1516, Cyprus
Interests: economics of agricultural production; sustainability assessment of farming systems; adoption of agricultural innovations; smart farming technologies

E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Agricultural Research Institute, Rural Development Section, P.O. Box 22016, Nicosia 1516, Cyprus
Interests: human-robot interaction; IoT in agriculture; smart farming; precision agriculture
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Agricultural Research Institute, Natural Resources and Environment Section, P.O. Box 22016, Nicosia 1516, Cyprus
Interests: plant physiology; plant nutrition; hydroponics; sustainable intensive agriculture; precision irrigation and nutrient management; smart farming approaches
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, Anna van Buerenplein 1, NL-2595 DA The Hague, The Netherlands
Interests: sustainable agriculture and food systems; ICT in agrifood; environmental and social impact of technologies in agrifood; data science and AI in sustainable agriculture
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Smart farming (SF) involves a variety of technologies, such as mapping and recording technologies (satellite and unmanned aerial vehicles imagery, multiple types of sensors, and Internet of Things connected weather stations), farm management information systems or decision support systems, technologies, such as variable rate application and agricultural robots. SF has been suggested as a promising driver for achieving higher sustainability performance without compromising the environment and human health. SF technologies may potentially lead to more efficient use of inputs (e.g., fertilizers, pesticides, irrigation, labour), to the reduction of production costs, to the minimization of the environmental footprint, and to improved product quality. In the light of climate breakdown and the need for adaptation and mitigation policies, the adoption of SF technologies is now more than ever an imperative. However, the adoption rate, especially by small and medium-sized farms, is still low or fragmented and the tools provided by SF have not yet moved into mainstream farm management. This low uptake is due to various factors, including the low perceived usefulness. There is a need to provide evidence of the actual impacts of SF technologies for agricultural sustainability and to persuade farmers of the actual benefits of SF. The objective of this Special Issue is to identify the (positive or negative) impacts of SF technologies on the economic, environmental, and social sustainability of farming systems, including livestock systems and agri-food value chains, and, thereby, enable informed choices by farmers. We invite you to contribute to this Special Issue by submitting original research articles, reviews, and case studies that provide scientific evidence of the actual impacts of SF technologies on the environmental, economic, and social sustainability of farms. Contributions related to the development of traceability systems based on recorded data from SF technologies are also welcome insofar as they highlight the impacts on sustainability. We look forward to receiving your contributions on the broad topic of this Special Issue in order to foster discussions within this important emerging field.

Dr. Andreas Stylianou
Dr. George Adamides
Dr. Damianos Neocleous
Prof. Dr. Christopher Brewster
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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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. Agronomy is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

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

Keywords

  • smart farming technologies
  • precision agriculture
  • digitalization
  • sensors
  • Internet of Things
  • decision support systems
  • indicators
  • sustainable agriculture and agri-food value chains
  • sustainability assessment
  • sustainability impacts

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

14 pages, 1010 KiB  
Article
Based on BERT-wwm for Agricultural Named Entity Recognition
by Qiang Huang, Youzhi Tao, Zongyuan Wu and Francesco Marinello
Agronomy 2024, 14(6), 1217; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy14061217 - 4 Jun 2024
Viewed by 306
Abstract
With the continuous advancement of information technology in the agricultural field, a large amount of unstructured agricultural textual information has been generated. This information is crucial for supporting the development of smart agriculture, making the application of named entity recognition in the agricultural [...] Read more.
With the continuous advancement of information technology in the agricultural field, a large amount of unstructured agricultural textual information has been generated. This information is crucial for supporting the development of smart agriculture, making the application of named entity recognition in the agricultural field more urgent. In order to enhance the accuracy of agricultural entity recognition, this study utilizes the pre-trained BERT-wwm model for word embedding into the text. Additionally, a channel attention mechanism (CA) is introduced in the BILSTM-CRF downstream feature extraction network to comprehensively capture the contextual features of the text. Experimental results demonstrate that the proposed method significantly improves the performance of named entity recognition, with increased accuracy, recall, and F1 value. The successful implementation of this method provides reliable support for downstream tasks such as agricultural knowledge graph construction and question and answer systems and establishes a foundation for better understanding and utilization of agricultural textual information. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Farming Technologies for Sustainable Agriculture)
18 pages, 296 KiB  
Article
Case Studies on Sustainability-Oriented Innovations and Smart Farming Technologies in the Wine Industry: A Comparative Analysis of Pilots in Cyprus and Italy
by Aikaterini Kasimati, George Papadopoulos, Valentina Manstretta, Marianthi Giannakopoulou, George Adamides, Damianos Neocleous, Vassilis Vassiliou, Savvas Savvides and Andreas Stylianou
Agronomy 2024, 14(4), 736; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy14040736 - 2 Apr 2024
Viewed by 1468
Abstract
Addressing the urgent sustainability challenges in the wine industry, this study explores the efficacy of sustainability-oriented innovations (SOIs) and smart farming technologies (SFTs) across wine value chains in Cyprus and Italy. Utilising a mixed-methods approach that includes quantitative analysis through Key Performance Indicators [...] Read more.
Addressing the urgent sustainability challenges in the wine industry, this study explores the efficacy of sustainability-oriented innovations (SOIs) and smart farming technologies (SFTs) across wine value chains in Cyprus and Italy. Utilising a mixed-methods approach that includes quantitative analysis through Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and qualitative assessments to understand stakeholders’ perspectives, this research delves into the environmental, economic, and social impacts of these technologies. In Cyprus, the integration of digital labelling and smart farming solutions led to a substantial reduction in pesticide usage by up to 75% and enhanced the perceived quality of wine by an average of 8%. A pilot study in Italy witnessed a 33.4% decrease in greenhouse gas emissions, with the additional benefit of a 5.3% improvement in intrinsic product quality. The pilot introduced a carbon credit system, potentially generating an average annual revenue of EUR 4140 per farm. These findings highlight the transformative potential of SOIs and SFTs in promoting sustainable practices within the wine industry, demonstrating significant advancements in reducing environmental impact, improving product quality, and enhancing economic viability. This study underscores the critical role of innovative technologies in achieving sustainability goals and provides a compelling case for their wider adoption within the agricultural sector. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Farming Technologies for Sustainable Agriculture)
16 pages, 6963 KiB  
Article
Analysis of Cross-Influence of Microclimate, Lighting, and Soil Parameters in the Vertical Farm
by Victoria Kamenchuk, Boris Rumiantsev, Sofya Dzhatdoeva, Elchin Sadykhov and Azret Kochkarov
Agronomy 2023, 13(8), 2174; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13082174 - 19 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1430
Abstract
Urban vertical farming is an innovative solution to address the increasing demand for food in densely populated cities. With advanced technology and precise monitoring, closed urban vertical farms can optimize growing conditions for plants, resulting in higher yields and improved crop quality. However, [...] Read more.
Urban vertical farming is an innovative solution to address the increasing demand for food in densely populated cities. With advanced technology and precise monitoring, closed urban vertical farms can optimize growing conditions for plants, resulting in higher yields and improved crop quality. However, to fully optimize closed urban vertical farming systems, research is needed to enhance crop yields and reduce the growing season. The present study is focused on the research of the mutual influence of microclimate parameters, such as temperature, humidity, and carbon dioxide concentration, as well as the spectral composition of light, humidity, and amount of peat in the substrate. The research was conducted within the cultivation of the “Innovator” potato variety at the experimental automated vertical farm of the “Fundamentals of Biotechnology” of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Based on the correlation and Fourier analysis of the dependences of soil moisture and carbon dioxide concentration on time, it is shown that after watering potatoes, there is a 56 h delayed decrease in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the cultivation room, which can be explained by a delayed increase in the intensity of the photosynthesis process. Moreover, a comparison of CO2 dependence on time with the lighting dynamics at the scale of one day indicates the presence of the intrinsic daily biological rhythm of the CO2 absorption rate that does not depend on the external lighting conditions. In addition, by analyzing the dependencies of microclimate parameters and the spectral composition of the lighting over time, it was found that switching on lighting influences the microclimate parameters, which can be explained by the heating of LEDs used for lighting. Moreover, the multiple regression analysis of microclimate parameters and soil moisture showed that an increase in peat content in the substrate leads to a transition from the decisive influence of air humidity on soil moisture to the dominant influence of air temperature. The obtained results reveal the complex mutual influence of the parameters determining the growing conditions within automated closed vertical farms. Consideration of this influence is necessary when optimizing the conditions of vegetation and the development of intelligent plant-growing systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Farming Technologies for Sustainable Agriculture)
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19 pages, 350 KiB  
Article
Technology Acceptance among Farmers: Examples of Agricultural Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
by Osman Parmaksiz and Gokhan Cinar
Agronomy 2023, 13(8), 2077; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13082077 - 7 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1863
Abstract
Agricultural drones (AUAVs) contribute greatly to sustainable agriculture by reducing input use. The literature on this topic is scarce, so there is little information on the adoption of agricultural drones by farmers. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the factors affecting [...] Read more.
Agricultural drones (AUAVs) contribute greatly to sustainable agriculture by reducing input use. The literature on this topic is scarce, so there is little information on the adoption of agricultural drones by farmers. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the factors affecting farmers’ intention to adopt drones for agricultural tasks. Within the scope of this study, face-to-face surveys with 384 farmers were conducted. The obtained data were analyzed using different statistical, econometric, and decision techniques, including the conditional valuation method, lower payment bound estimation, probit model regression, fuzzy pairwise comparison, and the Vise Kriterijumska Optimizacija I Kompromisno Resenje-multi-criteria optimization and compromise (VIKOR) technique. The results showed that government support had a positive impact on AUAV purchasing decisions. Farmers’ primary borrowing channel preference was interest-free loans. The willingness to rent AUAV technology was higher than the willingness to purchase it, with farmers agreeing to pay TRY 287.54 for one hectare. They preferred cooperatives for the provision of rental services. In general, young farmers who were interested in technology and who had a high agricultural income made up the profile of AUAV adoption. The information obtained from this research not only provides new insights for decision-makers regarding the adoption of AUAV technology but also contributes to the preparation of the promotion process for potential market actors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Farming Technologies for Sustainable Agriculture)
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