Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 263

Search results for: Agriculture

263 Communication in a Heterogeneous Ad Hoc Network

Authors: C. Benjbara, A. Habbani

Abstract:

Wireless networks are getting more and more used in every new technology or feature, especially those without infrastructure (Ad hoc mode) which provide a low cost alternative to the infrastructure mode wireless networks and a great flexibility for application domains such as environmental monitoring, smart cities, precision agriculture, and so on. These application domains present a common characteristic which is the need of coexistence and intercommunication between modules belonging to different types of ad hoc networks like wireless sensor networks, mesh networks, mobile ad hoc networks, vehicular ad hoc networks, etc. This vision to bring to life such heterogeneous networks will make humanity duties easier but its development path is full of challenges. One of these challenges is the communication complexity between its components due to the lack of common or compatible protocols standard. This article proposes a new patented routing protocol based on the OLSR standard in order to resolve the heterogeneous ad hoc networks communication issue. This new protocol is applied on a specific network architecture composed of MANET, VANET, and FANET.

Keywords: Ad hoc, heterogeneous, ID-Node, OLSR.

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262 Creative Skills Supported by Multidisciplinary Learning: Case Innovation Course at the Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences

Authors: Satu Lautamäki

Abstract:

This paper presents findings from a multidisciplinary course (bachelor level) implemented at Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences, Finland. The course aims to develop innovative thinking of students, by having projects given by companies, using design thinking methods as a tool for creativity and by integrating students into multidisciplinary teams working on the given projects. The course is obligatory for all first year bachelor students across four faculties (business and culture, food and agriculture, health care and social work, and technology). The course involves around 800 students and 30 pedagogical coaches, and it is implemented as an intensive one-week course each year. The paper discusses the pedagogy, structure and coordination of the course. Also, reflections on methods for the development of creative skills are given. Experts in contemporary, global context often work in teams, which consist of people who have different areas of expertise and represent various professional backgrounds. That is why there is a strong need for new training methods where multidisciplinary approach is at the heart of learning. Creative learning takes place when different parties bring information to the discussion and learn from each other. When students in different fields are looking for professional growth for themselves and take responsibility for the professional growth of other learners, they form a mutual learning relationship with each other. Multidisciplinary team members make decisions both individually and collectively, which helps them to understand and appreciate other disciplines. Our results show that creative and multidisciplinary project learning can develop diversity of knowledge and competences, for instance, students’ cultural knowledge, teamwork and innovation competences, time management and presentation skills as well as support a student’s personal development as an expert. It is highly recommended that higher education curricula should include various studies for students from different study fields to work in multidisciplinary teams.

Keywords: Multidisciplinary learning, creative skills, innovative thinking, project-based learning.

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261 Surface Water Pollution by Open Refuse Dumpsite in North Central of Nigeria

Authors: Abimbola Motunrayo Folami, Ibironke Titilayo Enitan, Feroz Mohomed Swalaha

Abstract:

Water is a vital resource that is important in ensuring the growth and development of any country. To sustain the basic human needs and the demands for agriculture, industry, conservational and ecosystem, enough quality and quantity water is needed. Contamination of water resources is now a global and public health concern. Hence, this study assessed the water quality of Ndawuse River by measuring the physicochemical parameters and heavy metals concentrations of the river using standard methods. In total, 16 surface water samples were obtained from five locations along the river, from upstream to downstream as well as samples from the dumpsite. The results obtained were compared with the standard limits set by both the World Health Organization and the Federal Environmental Protection Agency for domestic purposes. The results of the measured parameters indicated that biological oxygen demand (85.88 mg/L), turbidity (44.51 NTU), Iron (0.014 - 3.511 mg /L) and chromium (0.078 - 0.14 mg /L) were all above the standard limits. The results further showed that the quality of surface water is being significantly affected by human activities around the Ndawuse River which could pose an adverse health risk to several communities that rely on this river as their primary source of water. Therefore, there is a need for strict enforcement of environmental laws to protect the aquatic ecosystem and to avoid long term cumulative exposure risk that heavy metals may pose on human health.

Keywords: Abuja, contaminants, heavy metals, Ndawuse River, Nigeria, surface water.

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260 Computation of Flood and Drought Years over the North-West Himalayan Region Using Indian Meteorological Department Rainfall Data

Authors: Sudip Kumar Kundu, Charu Singh

Abstract:

The climatic condition over Indian region is highly dependent on monsoon. India receives maximum amount of rainfall during southwest monsoon. Indian economy is highly dependent on agriculture. The presence of flood and drought years influenced the total cultivation system as well as the economy of the country as Indian agricultural systems is still highly dependent on the monsoon rainfall. The present study has been planned to investigate the flood and drought years for the north-west Himalayan region from 1951 to 2014 by using area average Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) rainfall data. For this investigation the Normalized index (NI) has been utilized to find out whether the particular year is drought or flood. The data have been extracted for the north-west Himalayan (NWH) region states namely Uttarakhand (UK), Himachal Pradesh (HP) and Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) to find out the rainy season average rainfall for each year, climatological mean and the standard deviation. After calculation it has been plotted by the diagrams (or graphs) to show the results- some of the years associated with drought years, some are flood years and rest are neutral. The flood and drought years can also relate with the large-scale phenomena El-Nino and La-Lina.

Keywords: Indian Meteorological Department, Rainfall, Normalized index, Flood, Drought, NWH.

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259 Study of Polyphenol Profile and Antioxidant Capacity in Italian Ancient Apple Varieties by Liquid Chromatography

Authors: A. M. Tarola, R. Preti, A. M. Girelli, P. Campana

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Safeguarding, studying and enhancing biodiversity play an important and indispensable role in re-launching agriculture. The ancient local varieties are therefore a precious resource for genetic and health improvement. In order to protect biodiversity through the recovery and valorization of autochthonous varieties, in this study we analyzed 12 samples of four ancient apple cultivars representative of Friuli Venezia Giulia, selected by local farmers who work on a project for the recovery of ancient apple cultivars. The aim of this study is to evaluate the polyphenolic profile and the antioxidant capacity that characterize the organoleptic and functional qualities of this fruit species, besides having beneficial properties for health. In particular, for each variety, the following compounds were analyzed, both in the skins and in the pulp: gallic acid, catechin, chlorogenic acid, epicatechin, caffeic acid, coumaric acid, ferulic acid, rutin, phlorizin, phloretin and quercetin to highlight any differences in the edible parts of the apple. The analysis of individual phenolic compounds was performed by High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) coupled with a diode array UV detector (DAD), the antioxidant capacity was estimated using an in vitro essay based on a Free Radical Scavenging Method and the total phenolic compounds was determined using the Folin-Ciocalteau method. From the results, it is evident that the catechins are the most present polyphenols, reaching a value of 140-200 μg/g in the pulp and of 400-500 μg/g in the skin, with the prevalence of epicatechin. Catechins and phlorizin, a dihydrohalcone typical of apples, are always contained in larger quantities in the peel. Total phenolic compounds content was positively correlated with antioxidant activity in apple pulp (r2 = 0,850) and peel (r2 = 0,820). Comparing the results, differences between the varieties analyzed and between the edible parts (pulp and peel) of the apple were highlighted. In particular, apple peel is richer in polyphenolic compounds than pulp and flavonols are exclusively present in the peel. In conclusion, polyphenols, being antioxidant substances, have confirmed the benefits of fruit in the diet, especially as a prevention and treatment for degenerative diseases. They demonstrated to be also a good marker for the characterization of different apple cultivars. The importance of protecting biodiversity in agriculture was also highlighted through the exploitation of native products and ancient varieties of apples now forgotten.

Keywords: Apple, biodiversity, polyphenols, antioxidant activity, HPLC-DAD, characterization.

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258 Growth and Yield Assessment of Two Types of Sorghum-Sudangrass Hybrids as Affected by Deficit Irrigation

Authors: A. Abbas Khalaf, L. Issazadeh, Z. Arif Abdullah, J. Hassanpour

Abstract:

In order to evaluate the growth and yield properties of two Sorghum-Sudangrass hybrids under different irrigation levels, an investigation was done in the experiment site of Collage of Agriculture, University of Duhok, Kurdistan region of Iraq (36°5´38 N, 42°52´02 E) in the years 2015-16. The experiment was conducted under Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) with three replications, which main factor was irrigation treatments (I100, I75 and I50) according to evaporation pan class A and type of Sorghum-Sudangrass hybrids (KH12SU9001, G1) and (KH12SU9002, G2) were factors of subplots. The parameters studied were: plant height (cm), number of green leaves per plant; leaf area (m2/m2), stem thickness (mm), percent of protein, fresh and dry biomass (ton.ha-1) and also crop water productivity. The results of variance analysis showed that KH12SU9001 variety had more amount of leaf area, percent of protein, fresh and dry biomass yield in comparison to KH12SU9002 variety. By comparing effects of irrigation levels on vegetative growth and yield properties, results showed that amount of plant height, fresh and dry biomass weight was decreased by decreasing irrigation level from full irrigation regime to 5 o% of irrigation level. Also, results of crop water productivity (CWP) indicated that improvement in quantity of irrigation would impact fresh and dry biomass yield significantly. Full irrigation regime was recorded the highest level of CWP (1.28-1.29 kg.m-3).

Keywords: Deficit irrigation, growth, Sorghum-Sudangrass hybrid, yield.

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257 Maximization of Lifetime for Wireless Sensor Networks Based on Energy Efficient Clustering Algorithm

Authors: Frodouard Minani

Abstract:

Since last decade, wireless sensor networks (WSNs) have been used in many areas like health care, agriculture, defense, military, disaster hit areas and so on. Wireless Sensor Networks consist of a Base Station (BS) and more number of wireless sensors in order to monitor temperature, pressure, motion in different environment conditions. The key parameter that plays a major role in designing a protocol for Wireless Sensor Networks is energy efficiency which is a scarcest resource of sensor nodes and it determines the lifetime of sensor nodes. Maximizing sensor node’s lifetime is an important issue in the design of applications and protocols for Wireless Sensor Networks. Clustering sensor nodes mechanism is an effective topology control approach for helping to achieve the goal of this research. In this paper, the researcher presents an energy efficiency protocol to prolong the network lifetime based on Energy efficient clustering algorithm. The Low Energy Adaptive Clustering Hierarchy (LEACH) is a routing protocol for clusters which is used to lower the energy consumption and also to improve the lifetime of the Wireless Sensor Networks. Maximizing energy dissipation and network lifetime are important matters in the design of applications and protocols for wireless sensor networks. Proposed system is to maximize the lifetime of the Wireless Sensor Networks by choosing the farthest cluster head (CH) instead of the closest CH and forming the cluster by considering the following parameter metrics such as Node’s density, residual-energy and distance between clusters (inter-cluster distance). In this paper, comparisons between the proposed protocol and comparative protocols in different scenarios have been done and the simulation results showed that the proposed protocol performs well over other comparative protocols in various scenarios.

Keywords: Base station, clustering algorithm, energy efficient, wireless sensor networks.

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256 The Tourist Satisfaction on Brand Identity Design of Creative Agriculture Community Enterprise, Bang Khonthi District, Samut Songkhram Province

Authors: Panupong Chanplin, Kathaleeya Chanda., Wilailuk Mepracha

Abstract:

The aims of this research were twofold: 1) to brand identity design of Creative Agriculture Community Enterprise, Bang Khonthi District, Samut Songkhram Province and 2) to study the level of tourist satisfaction towards brand identity design of Creative Agriculture Community Enterprise, Bang Khonthi District, Samut Songkhram Province. tourist satisfaction was measured using six criteria: clear brand positioning, likeable brand personality, memorable logo, attractive color palette, professional typography and on-brand supporting graphics. The researcher utilized a probability sampling method via simple random sampling. The sample consisted of 30 tourists in the Creative Agriculture Community Enterprise. Statistics utilized for data analysis were percentage, mean, and standard deviation. The results suggest that tourist had high levels of satisfaction towards all six criteria of the brand identity design that was designed to target them. This study proposes that specifically brand identity designed of Creative Agriculture Community Enterprise could also be implemented with other real media already available on the market.

Keywords: Satisfaction, brand identity, logo, creative agriculture community enterprise.

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255 Farmers’ Perception, Willingness and Capacity in Utilization of Household Sewage Sludge as Organic Resources for Peri-Urban Agriculture around Jos Nigeria

Authors: C. C. Alamanjo, A. O. Adepoju, H. Martin, R. N. Baines

Abstract:

Peri-urban agriculture in Jos Nigeria serves as a major means of livelihood for both urban and peri-urban poor, and constitutes huge commercial inclination with a target market that has spanned beyond Plateau State. Yet, the sustainability of this sector is threatened by intensive application of urban refuse ash contaminated with heavy metals, as a result of the highly heterogeneous materials used in ash production. Hence, this research aimed to understand the current fertilizer employed by farmers, their perception and acceptability in utilization of household sewage sludge for agricultural purposes and their capacity in mitigating risks associated with such practice. Mixed methods approach was adopted, and data collection tools used include survey questionnaire, focus group discussion with farmers, participants and field observation. The study identified that farmers maintain a complex mixture of organic and chemical fertilizers, with mixture composition that is dependent on fertilizer availability and affordability. Also, farmers have decreased the rate of utilization of urban refuse ash due to labor and increased logistic cost and are keen to utilize household sewage sludge for soil fertility improvement but are mainly constrained by accessibility of this waste product. Nevertheless, farmers near to sewage disposal points have commenced utilization of household sewage sludge for improving soil fertility. Farmers were knowledgeable on composting but find their strategic method of dewatering and sun drying more convenient. Irrigation farmers were not enthusiastic for treatment, as they desired both water and sludge. Secondly, household sewage sludge observed in the field is heterogeneous due to nearness between its disposal point and that of urban refuse, which raises concern for possible cross-contamination of pollutants and also portrays lack of extension guidance as regards to treatment and management of household sewage sludge for agricultural purposes. Hence, farmers concerns need to be addressed, particularly in providing extension advice and establishment of decentralized household sewage sludge collection centers, for continuous availability of liquid and concentrated sludge. Urgent need is also required for the Federal Government of Nigeria to increase commitment towards empowering her subsidiaries for efficient discharge of corporate responsibilities.

Keywords: Ash, farmers, household, peri-urban, refuse, sewage, sludge, urban.

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254 Choice Experiment Approach on Evaluation of Non-Market Farming System Outputs: First Results from Lithuanian Case Study

Authors: A. Novikova, L. Rocchi, G. Startiene

Abstract:

Market and non-market outputs are produced jointly in agriculture. Their supply depends on the intensity and type of production. The role of agriculture as an economic activity and its effects are important for the Lithuanian case study, as agricultural land covers more than a half of country. Positive and negative externalities, created in agriculture are not considered in the market. Therefore, specific techniques such as stated preferences methods, in particular choice experiments (CE) are used for evaluation of non-market outputs in agriculture. The main aim of this paper is to present construction of the research path for evaluation of non-market farming system outputs in Lithuania. The conventional and organic farming, covering crops (including both cereal and industrial crops) and livestock (including dairy and cattle) production has been selected. The CE method and nested logit (NL) model were selected as appropriate for evaluation of non-market outputs of different farming systems in Lithuania. A pilot survey was implemented between October–November 2018, in order to test and improve the CE questionnaire. The results of the survey showed that the questionnaire is accepted and well understood by the respondents. The econometric modelling showed that the selected NL model could be used for the main survey. The understanding of the differences between organic and conventional farming by residents was identified. It was revealed that they are more willing to choose organic farming in comparison to conventional farming.

Keywords: Choice experiments, farming system, Lithuania market outputs, non-market outputs.

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253 The Carbon Footprint Model as a Plea for Cities towards Energy Transition: The Case of Algiers Algeria

Authors: Hachaichi Mohamed Nour El-Islem, Baouni Tahar

Abstract:

Environmental sustainability rather than a trans-disciplinary and a scientific issue, is the main problem that characterizes all modern cities nowadays. In developing countries, this concern is expressed in a plethora of critical urban ills: traffic congestion, air pollution, noise, urban decay, increase in energy consumption and CO2 emissions which blemish cities’ landscape and might threaten citizens’ health and welfare. As in the same manner as developing world cities, the rapid growth of Algiers’ human population and increasing in city scale phenomena lead eventually to increase in daily trips, energy consumption and CO2 emissions. In addition, the lack of proper and sustainable planning of the city’s infrastructure is one of the most relevant issues from which Algiers suffers. The aim of this contribution is to estimate the carbon deficit of the City of Algiers, Algeria, using the Ecological Footprint Model (carbon footprint). In order to achieve this goal, the amount of CO2 from fuel combustion has been calculated and aggregated into five sectors (agriculture, industry, residential, tertiary and transportation); as well, Algiers’ biocapacity (CO2 uptake land) has been calculated to determine the ecological overshoot. This study shows that Algiers’ transport system is not sustainable and is generating more than 50% of Algiers total carbon footprint which cannot be sequestered by the local forest land. The aim of this research is to show that the Carbon Footprint Assessment might be a relevant indicator to design sustainable strategies/policies striving to reduce CO2 by setting in motion the energy consumption in the transportation sector and reducing the use of fossil fuels as the main energy input.

Keywords: Biocapacity, carbon footprint, ecological footprint assessment, energy consumption.

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252 Greywater Treatment Using Activated Biochar Produced from Agricultural Waste

Authors: Pascal Mwenge, Tumisang Seodigeng

Abstract:

The increase in urbanisation in South Africa has led to an increase in water demand and a decline in freshwater supply. Despite this, poor water usage is still a major challenge in South Africa, for instance, freshwater is still used for non-drinking applications. The freshwater shortage can be alleviated by using other sources of water for non-portable purposes such as greywater treated with activated biochar produced from agricultural waste. The success of activated biochar produced from agricultural waste to treat greywater can be both economically and environmentally beneficial. Greywater treated with activated biochar produced from agricultural waste is considered a cost-effective wastewater treatment.  This work was aimed at determining the ability of activated biochar to remove Total Suspended Solids (TSS), Ammonium (NH4-N), Nitrate (NO3-N), and Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) from greywater. The experiments were carried out in 800 ml laboratory plastic cylinders used as filter columns. 2.5 cm layer of gravel was used at the bottom and top of the column to sandwich the activated biochar material. Activated biochar (200 g and 400 g) was loaded in a column and used as a filter medium for greywater. Samples were collected after a week and sent for analysis. Four types of greywater were treated: Kitchen, floor cleaning water, shower and laundry water. The findings showed: 95% removal of TSS, 76% of NO3-N and 63% of COD on kitchen greywater and 85% removal of NH4-N on bathroom greywater, as highest removal of efficiency of the studied pollutants. The results showed that activated biochar produced from agricultural waste reduces a certain amount of pollutants from greywater. The results also indicated the ability of activated biochar to treat greywater for onsite non-potable reuse purposes.

Keywords: Activated biochar produced from agriculture waste, ammonium (NH4-N), chemical oxygen demand (COD), greywater, nitrate (NO3-N), total suspended solids (TSS).

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251 Path-Tracking Controller for Tracked Mobile Robot on Rough Terrain

Authors: Toshifumi Hiramatsu, Satoshi Morita, Manuel Pencelli, Marta Niccolini, Matteo Ragaglia, Alfredo Argiolas

Abstract:

Automation technologies for agriculture field are needed to promote labor-saving. One of the most relevant problems in automated agriculture is represented by controlling the robot along a predetermined path in presence of rough terrain or incline ground. Unfortunately, disturbances originating from interaction with the ground, such as slipping, make it quite difficult to achieve the required accuracy. In general, it is required to move within 5-10 cm accuracy with respect to the predetermined path. Moreover, lateral velocity caused by gravity on the incline field also affects slipping. In this paper, a path-tracking controller for tracked mobile robots moving on rough terrains of incline field such as vineyard is presented. The controller is composed of a disturbance observer and an adaptive controller based on the kinematic model of the robot. The disturbance observer measures the difference between the measured and the reference yaw rate and linear velocity in order to estimate slip. Then, the adaptive controller adapts “virtual” parameter of the kinematics model: Instantaneous Centers of Rotation (ICRs). Finally, target angular velocity reference is computed according to the adapted parameter. This solution allows estimating the effects of slip without making the model too complex. Finally, the effectiveness of the proposed solution is tested in a simulation environment.

Keywords: Agricultural robot, autonomous control, path-tracking control, tracked mobile robot.

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250 Water Resources Crisis in Saudi Arabia, Challenges and Possible Management Options: An Analytic Review

Authors: A. A. Ghanim

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The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is heading towards a severe and rapidly expanding water crisis, which can have negative impacts on the country’s environment and economy. Of the total water consumption in KSA, the agricultural sector accounts for nearly 87% of the total water use and, therefore, any attempt that overlooks this sector will not help in improving the sustainability of the country’s water resources. KSA Vision 2030 gives priority of water use in the agriculture sector for the regions that have natural renewable water resources. It means that there is little concern for making reuse of municipal wastewater for irrigation purposes in any region in general and in water-scarce regions in particular. The use of treated wastewater is very limited in Saudi Arabia, but it has very considerable potential for future expansion due its numerous beneficial uses. This study reviews the current situation of water resources in Saudi Arabia, providing more highlights on agriculture and wastewater reuse. The reviewed study is proposing some corrective measures for development and better management of water resources in the Kingdom. Suggestions also include consideration of treated water as an alternative source for irrigation in some regions of the country. The study concluded that a sustainable solution for the water crisis in KSA requires implementation of multiple measures in an integrated manner. The integrated solution plan should focus on two main directions: first, improving the current management practices of the existing water resources; second, developing new water supplies from both conventional and non-conventional sources.

Keywords: Saudi Arabia, water resources, water crisis, treated wastewater.

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249 Effect of Reynolds Number and Concentration of Biopolymer (Gum Arabic) on Drag Reduction of Turbulent Flow in Circular Pipe

Authors: Kamaljit Singh Sokhal, Gangacharyulu Dasoraju, Vijaya Kumar Bulasara

Abstract:

Biopolymers are popular in many areas, like petrochemicals, food industry and agriculture due to their favorable properties like environment-friendly, availability, and cost. In this study, a biopolymer gum Arabic was used to find its effect on the pressure drop at various concentrations (100 ppm – 300 ppm) with various Reynolds numbers (10000 – 45000). A rheological study was also done by using the same concentrations to find the effect of the shear rate on the shear viscosity. Experiments were performed to find the effect of injection of gum Arabic directly near the boundary layer and to investigate its effect on the maximum possible drag reduction. Experiments were performed on a test section having i.d of 19.50 mm and length of 3045 mm. The polymer solution was injected from the top of the test section by using a peristaltic pump. The concentration of the polymer solution and the Reynolds number were used as parameters to get maximum possible drag reduction. Water was circulated through a centrifugal pump having a maximum 3000 rpm and the flow rate was measured by using rotameter. Results were validated by using Virk's maximum drag reduction asymptote. A maximum drag reduction of 62.15% was observed with the maximum concentration of gum Arabic, 300 ppm. The solution was circulated in the closed loop to find the effect of degradation of polymers with a number of cycles on the drag reduction percentage. It was observed that the injection of the polymer solution in the boundary layer was showing better results than premixed solutions.

Keywords: Drag reduction, shear viscosity, gum Arabic, injection point.

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248 The Features of Formation of Russian Agriculture’s Sectoral Structure

Authors: Natalya G. Filimonova, Mariya G. Ozerova, Irina N. Ermakova

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The long-term strategy of the economic development of Russia up to 2030 is based on the concept of sustainable growth. The determining factor of such development is complex changes in the economic system which may be achieved by making progressive changes in its structure. The structural changes determine the character and the direction of economic development, as well as they include all elements of this system without exception, and their regulated character ensures the most rapid aim achievement. This article has discussed the industrial structure of the agriculture in Russia. With the use of the system of indexes, the article has determined the directions, intensity, and speed of structural shifts. The influence of structural changes on agricultural production development has been found out. It is noticed that the changes in the industrial structure are synchronized with the changes in the organisation and economic structure. Efficiency assessment of structural changes allowed to trace the efficiency of structural changes and elaborate the main directions for agricultural policy improvement.

Keywords: Russian agriculture system, sectoral structure, organizational and economic structure, structural changes.

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247 Algorithm for Path Recognition in-between Tree Rows for Agricultural Wheeled-Mobile Robots

Authors: Anderson Rocha, Pedro Miguel de Figueiredo Dinis Oliveira Gaspar

Abstract:

Machine vision has been widely used in recent years in agriculture, as a tool to promote the automation of processes and increase the levels of productivity. The aim of this work is the development of a path recognition algorithm based on image processing to guide a terrestrial robot in-between tree rows. The proposed algorithm was developed using the software MATLAB, and it uses several image processing operations, such as threshold detection, morphological erosion, histogram equalization and the Hough transform, to find edge lines along tree rows on an image and to create a path to be followed by a mobile robot. To develop the algorithm, a set of images of different types of orchards was used, which made possible the construction of a method capable of identifying paths between trees of different heights and aspects. The algorithm was evaluated using several images with different characteristics of quality and the results showed that the proposed method can successfully detect a path in different types of environments.

Keywords: Agricultural mobile robot, image processing, path recognition, Hough transform.

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246 Standalone Docking Station with Combined Charging Methods for Agricultural Mobile Robots

Authors: Leonor Varandas, Pedro D. Gaspar, Martim L. Aguiar

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One of the biggest concerns in the field of agriculture is around the energy efficiency of robots that will perform agriculture’s activity and their charging methods. In this paper, two different charging methods for agricultural standalone docking stations are shown that will take into account various variants as field size and its irregularities, work’s nature to which the robot will perform, deadlines that have to be respected, among others. Its features also are dependent on the orchard, season, battery type and its technical specifications and cost. First charging base method focuses on wireless charging, presenting more benefits for small field. The second charging base method relies on battery replacement being more suitable for large fields, thus avoiding the robot stop for recharge. Existing many methods to charge a battery, the CC CV was considered the most appropriate for either simplicity or effectiveness. The choice of the battery for agricultural purposes is if most importance. While the most common battery used is Li-ion battery, this study also discusses the use of graphene-based new type of batteries with 45% over capacity to the Li-ion one. A Battery Management Systems (BMS) is applied for battery balancing. All these approaches combined showed to be a promising method to improve a lot of technical agricultural work, not just in terms of plantation and harvesting but also about every technique to prevent harmful events like plagues and weeds or even to reduce crop time and cost.

Keywords: Agricultural mobile robot, charging base methods, battery replacement method, wireless charging method.

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245 Poultry Manure and Its Derived Biochar as a Soil Amendment for Newly Reclaimed Sandy Soils under Arid and Semi-Arid Conditions

Authors: W. S. Mohamed, A. A. Hammam

Abstract:

Sandy soils under arid and semi-arid conditions are characterized by poor physical and biochemical properties such as low water retention, rapid organic matter decomposition, low nutrients use efficiency, and limited crop productivity. Addition of organic amendments is crucial to develop soil properties and consequently enhance nutrients use efficiency and lessen organic carbon decomposition. Two years field experiments were developed to investigate the feasibility of using poultry manure and its derived biochar integrated with different levels of N fertilizer as a soil amendment for newly reclaimed sandy soils in Western Desert of El-Minia Governorate, Egypt. Results of this research revealed that poultry manure and its derived biochar addition induced pronounced effects on soil moisture content at saturation point, field capacity (FC) and consequently available water. Data showed that application of poultry manure (PM) or PM-derived biochar (PMB) in combination with inorganic N levels had caused significant changes on a range of the investigated sandy soil biochemical properties including pH, EC, mineral N, dissolved organic carbon (DOC), dissolved organic N (DON) and quotient DOC/DON. Overall, the impact of PMB on soil physical properties was detected to be superior than the impact of PM, regardless the inorganic N levels. In addition, the obtained results showed that PM and PM application had the capacity to stimulate vigorous growth, nutritional status, production levels of wheat and sorghum, and to increase soil organic matter content and N uptake and recovery compared to control. By contrast, comparing between PM and PMB at different levels of inorganic N, the obtained results showed higher relative increases in both grain and straw yields of wheat in plots treated with PM than in those treated with PMB. The interesting feature of this research is that the biochar derived from PM increased treated sandy soil organic carbon (SOC) 1.75 times more than soil treated with PM itself at the end of cropping seasons albeit double-applied amount of PM. This was attributed to the higher carbon stability of biochar treated sandy soils increasing soil persistence for carbon decomposition in comparison with PM labile carbon. It could be concluded that organic manures applied to sandy soils under arid and semi-arid conditions are subjected to high decomposition and mineralization rates through crop seasons. Biochar derived from organic wastes considers as a source of stable carbon and could be very hopeful choice for substituting easily decomposable organic manures under arid conditions. Therefore, sustainable agriculture and productivity in newly reclaimed sandy soils desire one high rate addition of biochar derived from organic manures instead of frequent addition of such organic amendments.

Keywords: Biochar, dissolved organic carbon, N-uptake, poultry, sandy soil.

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244 The Study of Rapeseed Characteristics by Factor Analysis under Normal and Drought Stress Conditions

Authors: Ali Bakhtiari Gharibdosti, Mohammad Hosein Bijeh Keshavarzi, Samira Alijani

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To understand internal characteristics relationships and determine factors which explain under consideration characteristics in rapeseed varieties, 10 rapeseed genotypes were implemented in complete accidental plot with three-time repetitions under drought stress in 2009-2010 in research field of agriculture college, Islamic Azad University, Karaj branch. In this research, 11 characteristics include of characteristics related to growth, production and functions stages was considered. Variance analysis results showed that there is a significant difference among rapeseed varieties characteristics. By calculating simple correlation coefficient under both conditions, normal and drought stress indicate that seed function characteristics in plant and pod number have positive and significant correlation in 1% probable level with seed function and selection on the base of these characteristics was effective for improving this function. Under normal and drought stress, analyzing the main factors showed that numbers of factors which have more than one amount, had five factors under normal conditions which were 82.72% of total variance totally, but under drought stress four factors diagnosed which were 76.78% of total variance. By considering total results of this research and by assessing effective characteristics for factor analysis and selecting different components of these characteristics, they can be used for modifying works to select applicable and tolerant genotypes in drought stress conditions.

Keywords: Correlation, drought stress, factor analysis, rapeseed.

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243 Interaction of Elevated Carbon Dioxide and Temperature on Strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa) Growth and Fruit Yield

Authors: Himali N. Balasooriya, Kithsiri B. Dassanayake, Saman Seneweera, Said Ajlouni

Abstract:

Increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration [CO2] and ambient temperature associated with changing climatic conditions will have significant impacts on agriculture crop productivity and quality. Independent effects of the above two environmental variables on the growth, yield and quality of strawberry were well documented. Higher temperatures over the optimum range (20-25ºC) lead to crop failures, while elevated [CO2] stimulated plant growth and yield but compromised the physical quality of fruits. However, there is very limited understanding of the interaction between these variables on the plant growth, yield and quality. Therefore, this study was designed to investigate the interactive effect of high temperature and elevated [CO2] on growth, yield and quality of strawberries. Strawberry cultivars ‘Albion’ and ‘San Andreas’ were grown under six different combinations of two temperatures (25 and 30ºC) and three [CO2] (400, 650 and 950 µmol mol-1) in controlled-environmental growth chambers. Plant growth measurements such as plant height, canopy area, number of flowers, and fruit yield were measured during phonological development. Photosynthesis and transpiration, the ratio of intercellular to atmospheric [CO2] (Ci/Ca) were measured to estimate the physiological adjustment to climate stress. The impact of temperature and [CO2] interaction on growth and yield of strawberry was significant (p < 0.05). Across both cultivars, highest fruit yields were observed at 650 µmol mol-1 [CO2], which was particularly clear at 25°C. The fruit yield gradually decreased at 30°C under all the treatment combinations. However, photosynthesis rates were highest at 650 µmol mol-1 [CO2] but no increment was found at 900 µmol mol-1 [CO2]. Interestingly, Ci/Ca ratio increased with increasing atmospheric [CO2] which was predominant at high temperature. Similarly, fruit yield was substantially reduced at high [CO2] under high temperature. Our findings suggest that increased Ci/Ca ratio at high temperature is likely reduces the photosynthesis and thus yield response to elevated [CO2].

Keywords: Atmospheric [CO2], fruit yield, strawberry, temperature.

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242 Accounting for Rice Productivity Heterogeneity in Ghana: The Two-Step Stochastic Metafrontier Approach

Authors: Franklin Nantui Mabe, Samuel A. Donkoh, Seidu Al-Hassan

Abstract:

Rice yields among agro-ecological zones are heterogeneous. Farmers, researchers and policy makers are making frantic efforts to bridge rice yield gaps between agro-ecological zones through the promotion of improved agricultural technologies (IATs). Farmers are also modifying these IATs and blending them with indigenous farming practices (IFPs) to form farmer innovation systems (FISs). Also, different metafrontier models have been used in estimating productivity performances and their drivers. This study used the two-step stochastic metafrontier model to estimate the productivity performances of rice farmers and their determining factors in GSZ, FSTZ and CSZ. The study used both primary and secondary data. Farmers in CSZ are the most technically efficient. Technical inefficiencies of farmers are negatively influenced by age, sex, household size, education years, extension visits, contract farming, access to improved seeds, access to irrigation, high rainfall amount, less lodging of rice, and well-coordinated and synergized adoption of technologies. Albeit farmers in CSZ are doing well in terms of rice yield, they still have the highest potential of increasing rice yield since they had the lowest TGR. It is recommended that government through the ministry of food and agriculture, development partners and individual private companies promote the adoption of IATs as well as educate farmers on how to coordinate and synergize the adoption of the whole package. Contract farming concept and agricultural extension intensification should be vigorously pursued to the latter.

Keywords: Efficiency, farmer innovation systems, improved agricultural technologies, two-step stochastic metafrontier approach.

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241 Sunflower Irrigation with Two Different Types of Soil Moisture Sensors

Authors: C. D. Papanikolaou, V. A. Giouvanis, E. A. Karatasiou, D. S. Dimakas, M. A. Sakellariou-Makrantonaki

Abstract:

Irrigation is one of the most important cultivation practices for each crop, especially in areas where rainfall is enough to cover the crop water needs. In such areas, the farmers must irrigate in order to achieve high economical results. The precise irrigation scheduling contributes to irrigation water saving and thus a valuable natural resource is protected. Under this point of view, in the experimental field of the Laboratory of Agricultural Hydraulics of the University of Thessaly, a research was conducted during the growing season of 2012 in order to evaluate the growth, seed and oil production of sunflower as well as the water saving, by applying different methods of irrigation scheduling. Three treatments in four replications were organized. These were: a) surface drip irrigation where the irrigation scheduling based on the Penman-Monteith (PM) method (control); b) surface drip irrigation where the irrigation scheduling based on a soil moisture sensor (SMS); and c) surface drip irrigation, where the irrigation scheduling based on a soil potential sensor (WM).

Keywords: Irrigation scheduling, soil moisture sensors, sustainable agriculture, water saving.

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240 Fuzzy Control of Thermally Isolated Greenhouse Building by Utilizing Underground Heat Exchanger and Outside Weather Conditions

Authors: Raghad Alhusari, Farag Omar, Moustafa Fadel

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A traditional greenhouse is a metal frame agricultural building used for cultivation plants in a controlled environment isolated from external climatic changes. Using greenhouses in agriculture is an efficient way to reduce the water consumption, where agriculture field is considered the biggest water consumer world widely. Controlling greenhouse environment yields better productivity of plants but demands an increase of electric power. Although various control approaches have been used towards greenhouse automation, most of them are applied to traditional greenhouses with ventilation fans and/or evaporation cooling system. Such approaches are still demanding high energy and water consumption. The aim of this research is to develop a fuzzy control system that minimizes water and energy consumption by utilizing outside weather conditions and underground heat exchanger to maintain the optimum climate of the greenhouse. The proposed control system is implemented on an experimental model of thermally isolated greenhouse structure with dimensions of 6x5x2.8 meters. It uses fans for extracting heat from the ground heat exchanger system, motors for automatic open/close of the greenhouse windows and LED as lighting system. The controller is integrated also with environmental condition sensors. It was found that using the air-to-air horizontal ground heat exchanger with 90 mm diameter and 2 mm thickness placed 2.5 m below the ground surface results in decreasing the greenhouse temperature of 3.28 ˚C which saves around 3 kW of consumed energy. It also eliminated the water consumption needed in evaporation cooling systems which are traditionally used for cooling the greenhouse environment.

Keywords: Automation, earth-to-air heat exchangers, fuzzy control, greenhouse, sustainable buildings.

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239 Geostatistical Analysis of Contamination of Soils in an Urban Area in Ghana

Authors: S. K. Appiah, E. N. Aidoo, D. Asamoah Owusu, M. W. Nuonabuor

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Urbanization remains one of the unique predominant factors which is linked to the destruction of urban environment and its associated cases of soil contamination by heavy metals through the natural and anthropogenic activities. These activities are important sources of toxic heavy metals such as arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), and lead (Pb), nickel (Ni) and zinc (Zn). Often, these heavy metals lead to increased levels in some areas due to the impact of atmospheric deposition caused by their proximity to industrial plants or the indiscriminately burning of substances. Information gathered on potentially hazardous levels of these heavy metals in soils leads to establish serious health and urban agriculture implications. However, characterization of spatial variations of soil contamination by heavy metals in Ghana is limited. Kumasi is a Metropolitan city in Ghana, West Africa and is challenged with the recent spate of deteriorating soil quality due to rapid economic development and other human activities such as “Galamsey”, illegal mining operations within the metropolis. The paper seeks to use both univariate and multivariate geostatistical techniques to assess the spatial distribution of heavy metals in soils and the potential risk associated with ingestion of sources of soil contamination in the Metropolis. Geostatistical tools have the ability to detect changes in correlation structure and how a good knowledge of the study area can help to explain the different scales of variation detected. To achieve this task, point referenced data on heavy metals measured from topsoil samples in a previous study, were collected at various locations. Linear models of regionalisation and coregionalisation were fitted to all experimental semivariograms to describe the spatial dependence between the topsoil heavy metals at different spatial scales, which led to ordinary kriging and cokriging at unsampled locations and production of risk maps of soil contamination by these heavy metals. Results obtained from both the univariate and multivariate semivariogram models showed strong spatial dependence with range of autocorrelations ranging from 100 to 300 meters. The risk maps produced show strong spatial heterogeneity for almost all the soil heavy metals with extremely risk of contamination found close to areas with commercial and industrial activities. Hence, ongoing pollution interventions should be geared towards these highly risk areas for efficient management of soil contamination to avert further pollution in the metropolis.

Keywords: Coregionalization, ordinary cokriging, multivariate geostatistical analysis, soil contamination, soil heavy metals, risk maps, spatial distribution.

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238 Projections of Climate Change in the Rain Regime of the Ibicui River Basin

Authors: Claudineia Brazil, Elison Eduardo Bierhals, Francisco Pereira, José Leandro Néris, Matheus Rippel, Luciane Salvi

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The global concern about climate change has been increasing, since the emission of gases from human activities contributes to the greenhouse effect in the atmosphere, indicating significant impacts to the planet in the coming years. The study of precipitation regime is fundamental for the development of research in several areas. Among them are hydrology, agriculture, and electric sector. Using the climatic projections of the models belonging to the CMIP5, the main objective of the paper was to present an analysis of the impacts of climate change without rainfall in the Uruguay River basin. After an analysis of the results, it can be observed that for the future climate, there is a tendency, in relation to the present climate, for larger numbers of dry events, mainly in the winter months, changing the pluviometric regime for wet summers and drier winters. Given this projected framework, it is important to note the importance of adequate management of the existing water sources in the river basin, since the value of rainfall is reduced for the next years, it may compromise the dynamics of the ecosystems in the region. Facing climate change is fundamental issue for regions and cities all around the world. Society must improve its resilience to phenomenon impacts, and spreading the knowledge among decision makers and citizens is also essential. So, these research results can be subsidies for the decision-making in planning and management of mitigation measures and/or adaptation in south Brazil.

Keywords: Climate change, hydrological potential, precipitation, mitigation.

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237 From Industry 4.0 to Agriculture 4.0: A Framework to Manage Product Data in Agri-Food Supply Chain for Voluntary Traceability

Authors: Angelo Corallo, Maria Elena Latino, Marta Menegoli

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Agri-food value chain involves various stakeholders with different roles. All of them abide by national and international rules and leverage marketing strategies to advance their products. Food products and related processing phases carry with it a big mole of data that are often not used to inform final customer. Some data, if fittingly identified and used, can enhance the single company, and/or the all supply chain creates a math between marketing techniques and voluntary traceability strategies. Moreover, as of late, the world has seen buying-models’ modification: customer is careful on wellbeing and food quality. Food citizenship and food democracy was born, leveraging on transparency, sustainability and food information needs. Internet of Things (IoT) and Analytics, some of the innovative technologies of Industry 4.0, have a significant impact on market and will act as a main thrust towards a genuine ‘4.0 change’ for agriculture. But, realizing a traceability system is not simple because of the complexity of agri-food supply chain, a lot of actors involved, different business models, environmental variations impacting products and/or processes, and extraordinary climate changes. In order to give support to the company involved in a traceability path, starting from business model analysis and related business process a Framework to Manage Product Data in Agri-Food Supply Chain for Voluntary Traceability was conceived. Studying each process task and leveraging on modeling techniques lead to individuate information held by different actors during agri-food supply chain. IoT technologies for data collection and Analytics techniques for data processing supply information useful to increase the efficiency intra-company and competitiveness in the market. The whole information recovered can be shown through IT solutions and mobile application to made accessible to the company, the entire supply chain and the consumer with the view to guaranteeing transparency and quality.

Keywords: Agriculture 4.0, agri-food supply chain, Industry 4.0, voluntary traceability.

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236 The Difficulties Witnessed by People with Intellectual Disability in Transition to Work in Saudi Arabia

Authors: Adel S. Alanazi

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The transition of a student with a disability from school to work is the most crucial phase while moving from the stage of adolescence into early adulthood. In this process, young individuals face various difficulties and challenges in order to accomplish the next venture of life successfully. In this respect, this paper aims to examine the challenges encountered by the individuals with intellectual disabilities in transition to work in Saudi Arabia. For this purpose, this study has undertaken a qualitative research-based methodology; wherein interpretivist philosophy has been followed along with inductive approach and exploratory research design. The data for the research has been gathered with the help of semi-structured interviews, whose findings are analysed with the help of thematic analysis. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with parents of persons with intellectual disabilities, officials, supervisors and specialists of two vocational rehabilitation centres providing training to intellectually disabled students, in addition to that, directors of companies and websites in hiring those individuals. The total number of respondents for the interview was 15. The purposive sampling method was used to select the respondents for the interview. This sampling method is a non-probability sampling method which draws respondents from a known population and allows flexibility and suitability in selecting the participants for the study. The findings gathered from the interview revealed that the lack of awareness among their parents regarding the rights of their children who are intellectually disabled; the lack of adequate communication and coordination between various entities; concerns regarding their training and subsequent employment are the key difficulties experienced by the individuals with intellectual disabilities. Training in programmes such as bookbinding, carpentry, computing, agriculture, electricity and telephone exchange operations were involved as key training programmes. The findings of this study also revealed that information technology and media were playing a significant role in smoothing the transition to employment of individuals with intellectual disabilities. Furthermore, religious and cultural attitudes have been identified to be restricted for people with such disabilities in seeking advantages from job opportunities. On the basis of these findings, it can be implied that the information gathered through this study will serve to be highly beneficial for Saudi Arabian schools/ rehabilitation centres for individuals with intellectual disability to facilitate them in overcoming the problems they encounter during the transition to work.

Keywords: Intellectual disability, transition services, rehabilitation centre.

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235 Optimal Selling Prices for Small Sized Poultry Farmers

Authors: Hidefumi Kawakatsu, Dong Li, Kosuke Kato

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In Japan, meat-type chickens are mainly classified into three categories: (1) Broilers, (2) Branded chickens, and (3) Jidori (Free-range local traditional pedigree chickens). The Jidori chickens are certified by the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, whilst, for the Branded chickens, there is no regulation with respect to their breed (genotype) or methods for rearing them. It is, therefore, relatively easy for poultry farmers to introduce Branded than Jidori chickens. The Branded chickens are normally fed a low-calorie diet with ingredients such as herbs, which lengthens their breeding period (compared with that of the Broilers) and increases their market value. In the field of inventory management, fast-growing animals such as broilers are categorised as ameliorating items. To the best of our knowledge, there are no previous studies that have explicitly considered smaller sized poultry farmers with limited breeding areas. This study develops an inventory model for a small sized poultry farmer that produces both the Broilers (Product 1) and the Branded chickens (Product 2) with different amelioration rates. The poultry farmer’s total profit per unit of time is formulated as a function of selling prices by using a price-dependent demand function. The existence of a unique optimal selling price for each product, which maximises the total profit, established. It has also been confirmed through numerical examples that, when the breeding area is fixed, the total profit could increase if the poultry farmer reduced the product quantity of Product 1 to introduce Product 2.

Keywords: Amelioration, deterioration, small sized poultry farmers, optimal price.

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234 Sustainable Intensification of Agriculture in Victoria’s Food Bowl: Optimizing Productivity with the use of Decision-Support Tools

Authors: M. Johnson, R. Faggian, V. Sposito

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A participatory and engaged approach is key in connecting agricultural managers to sustainable agricultural systems to support and optimize production in Victoria’s food bowl. A sustainable intensification (SI) approach is well documented globally, but participation rates amongst Victorian farmers is fragmentary, and key outcomes and implementation strategies are poorly understood. Improvement in decision-support management tools and a greater understanding of the productivity gains available upon implementation of SI is necessary. This paper reviews the current understanding and uptake of SI practices amongst farmers in one of Victoria’s premier food producing regions, the Goulburn Broken; and it spatially analyses the potential for this region to adapt to climate change and optimize food production. A Geographical Information Systems (GIS) approach is taken to develop an interactive decision-support tool that can be accessible to on-ground agricultural managers. The tool encompasses multiple criteria analysis (MCA) that identifies factors during the construction phase of the tool, using expert witnesses and regional knowledge, framed within an Analytical Hierarchy Process. Given the complexities of the interrelations between each of the key outcomes, this participatory approach, in which local realities and factors inform the key outcomes and help to strategies for a particular region, results in a robust strategy for sustainably intensifying production in key food producing regions. The creation of an interactive, locally embedded, decision-support management and education tool can help to close the gap between farmer knowledge and production, increase on-farm adoption of sustainable farming strategies and techniques, and optimize farm productivity.

Keywords: Agriculture, decision-support management tools, GIS, sustainable intensification.

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