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Special Issue "Machine Intelligence for Sustainable Precision Farming"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Agriculture".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2021) | Viewed by 499

Special Issue Editors

Department of Plant Sciences, Wageningen University and Research Centre, 6708 PB Wageningen, Netherlands
Interests: modelling; control theory; statistical learning; biosystems engineering
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Haris Ahmad Khan
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Farm Technology Group, Department of Plant Sciences, Wageningen University and Research Centre, 6708 PB Wageningen, the Netherlands
Interests: hyperspectral imaging; multispectral imaging; color constancy; illuminant invariance
Delft Center for Systems and Control, Delft University of Technology, Mekelweg 2, 2628 CD, Delft, The Netherlands
Interests: distributed control and estimation; distributed optimization; model predictive control; distributed robotics; large-scale systems; networked control systems; embedded and real-time optimization based control; decision-making in autonomous greenhouses; thermal-/electric power-/water-networks and smart grids
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven 5600 MB, the Netherlands
Interests: optimal control; stochastic control; networked control systems; approximated dynamic programming; precision farming; systems biology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues, 

Precision Farming (PF) is a concept for precisely managing inputs and actions via precision technology, in order to optimize the use of resources and labor, and to minimize the impact of farming practices on animal health, human health, and the environment. The role of sensor and actuator technology in providing accurate sensing and actuation is well known, while the necessity of machine intelligence is less well known. In modern farming, precision management is becoming increasingly supported by machines that are operated via machine intelligence, thereby closing the loop between sensing and actuation. Machine intelligence plays a crucial role in the development of economically and ecologically sustainable farming. However, developing machine intelligence for biosystems, characterized by complex dynamics, disturbances, errors, and system limitations, is one of the top challenges in Precision Farming. 

Essentially, machine intelligence for decision support and automation adopts three forms:  

  • Observation of the current state of the system, to help a farmer take appropriate action. A computer may help in providing a diagnosis by observing the current state of a system (e.g., the climate inside a greenhouse, the water level in the soil, or the health status of an animal).
  • Prediction of how the process will respond to input, and of the corresponding performance—for example, a prediction of yield or energy requirement based on how a climate set-point in an animal house is selected.
  • Control algorithms that provide optimized schedules for input and actions with respect to specific management objectives (e.g., high yield, low resource use). They can be used to provide advice, or to fully automate a process (e.g., control of indoor climate). 

This Special Issue focuses on machine intelligence that forms the connection between sensing and actuation in Precision Farming. The scope includes the following aspects:    

  • Mathematical and statistical methods for observation, prediction, and control under uncertainty and disturbances, such as adaptive modelling, state identification/recognition, machine learning, control engineering, and data assimilation.
  • Improvement of sustainability with respect to animal health, economics, ecology, and resource efficiency.
  • (Possible) application to a farming system—this may be any system designed for primary food production (e.g., arable farming, livestock farming, protected horticulture, or fish farming). 

Prof. Dr. Simon van Mourik
Dr. Haris Ahmad Khan
Prof. Dr. Tamás Keviczky
Dr. Duarte Antunes
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at 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. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 2200 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.


  • modelling
  • identification
  • control
  • statistical learning methods
  • sensing
  • actuation
  • machine intelligence

Published Papers

There is no accepted submissions to this special issue at this moment.
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