ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202011.0181.v2
Subject: Engineering, Marine Engineering Keywords: Floating farming; sustainable farming; Integrated farming; Multilevel Floating Farm
Online: 15 April 2021 (13:38:39 CEST)
The exponential growth of population and the consistent food demand has compelled humanity to seek alternatives to traditional farming and innovative technologies to increase production. Exploring offshore for natural resources and alleviating pressure on land has been an ongoing research field, especially in the energy and aquaculture sector. However, the idea of floating farming is still in its infancy and requires significant innovations. The work presented here shed further light on this area by proposing a comprehensive model of ‘Integrated, multicultural, Multileveled Floating Farm (MFF).’ Various aspects of planning, design, constructions and operations of such MFF are discussed. An integrated waste management system is proposed to improve sustainability. The conceptual design and associated financial analysis demonstrated that such integration of various modes of farming could be profitable and sustainable at the same time. The cost estimation and profit analysis are presented in the context of Singapore, and a conservative approach is followed for the calculation. However, the model can easily be extended for application in other countries.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0620.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Agricultural Science And Agronomy Keywords: Digital twin; Precision Livestock Farming; digitosome; Digital cohort; animal farming
Online: 29 January 2021 (12:48:12 CET)
Digital twin technology is already improving efficiencies and reducing costs across multiple industries and sectors. As the earliest adopters, space technology and manufacturing sectors have made the most sophisticated gains with automobile and natural resource extraction industries following close behind with recent investments in digital twin technology. The application of digital twins within the livestock farming sector is the next frontier. The possibilities that this technology may fuel are nearly endless as digital twins can be used to improve large-scale precision livestock farming practices, machinery and equipment usage, and the health and well-being of a wide variety of farm animals. Currently, many pioneers of digital twins in livestock farming are already applying sophisticated AI technology to monitor both animals and environment around the clock, which leads to a better understanding of animal behavior and distress, disease control and prevention, and smarter business decisions for the farmer. Mental and emotional states of animals can be monitored using recognition technology that examines facial features such as ear postures and eye white regions. Used with modeling, simulation and augmented reality technologies, digital twins can help farmers build more energy-efficient housing structures, predict heat cycles for breeding, discourage negative behaviors of livestock, and potentially much more. As with all disruptive technological advances, the implementation of digital twin technology will demand a thorough cost and benefit analysis by individual farms. Digital twin application will need to overcome challenges and accept limitations that arise. However, regardless of these issues, the potential of digital twins promises to revolutionize livestock farming in the future.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0226.v1
Subject: Engineering, Architecture, Building And Construction Keywords: vertical farming; zero acreage farming; university; sustainability; economics; climate change
Online: 11 October 2018 (04:05:17 CEST)
The world is facing several global issues such as food and energy crisis, climate change and greenhouse gases emissions. To subdue these issues, many entities from academia and industries have innovated alternate techniques of performing regular activities which cause such problems. One of these innovations is the introduction of vertical and zero acreage farming in the field of sustainability. These carry the potential to solve one of the most important affairs of food security in most countries of the world. But, this technology has been in its nascent stage for many years. This paper uses a comprehensive framework proving the feasibility of initiating vertical farming on university campuses to feed the staff and students, which could also set an example to the rest of the world into using this technique on a wider scale. The study chose Huazhong University of science and technology (HUST) in Wuhan city, China for accessing the return on investment and food sufficiency if vertical farming is implemented. Using Central Limit Theorem, a statistical model was developed, and various scenarios were analyzed. The results indicated that if a separate vertical farm is constructed, the breakeven can be achieved in a range of 10-20 depending on parameters such as type of operation, number of floors and amount of vegetation. The study has shown that the use of vertical farming cannot only bring in revenue for the campus but also aid in mitigating climate change.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201708.0053.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Decision Sciences Keywords: dairy farming; sustainability; organic farming; technology acceptance model; structural equation modeling
Online: 14 August 2017 (06:27:08 CEST)
The goal of the study was to assess the farmers’ acceptance of three sustainable production strategies, namely ‘Agro-forestry’, ‘Alternative protein source’ and ‘Prolonged maternal feeding’. Data on the acceptance of these strategies were collected by a survey of dairy farmers in six EU countries (AT, BE, DK, FI, IT, UK). An extended version of the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) was applied by means of Structural Equation Modelling to testing various hypotheses on attitudes and intentions of dairy farmers towards these novel production strategies, as well as the influence of organic practices and collaborative behaviours along the supply chain. We found that the most preferred strategy - across all countries - was soy substitution by alternative protein sources. We also found that the intention to adopt a sustainable production strategy may derive from the influence of opinions (and behaviours) of relevant others, showing the role of interactions among farmers and other stakeholders in the adoption of innovations. Finally, the perceived usefulness of all investigated strategies is higher for organic farmers, while collaborative patterns reduce the impact of subjective norm on usefulness and overall acceptance. Our findings should encourage policy makers to consider the important role of supply chain management practices, including collaboration, to enhance the sustainability of dairy farming systems.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0058.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Agricultural Science And Agronomy Keywords: Digital Agriculture; Precision Livestock Farming; Smart Farming; Artificial Intelligence; Sensors; Big Data
Online: 2 November 2022 (11:11:06 CET)
Sensor enabled big data and Artificial Intelligence platforms has the potential to address global socio-economic trends related to the livestock production sector through advances in the digitization of precision livestock farming. The increased interest in animal welfare, the likely reduction in the number of animals in relation to population growth in the coming decade and the growing demand for animal proteins pose an acute challenge to prioritizing animal welfare on the one hand while maximizing the efficiency of production systems on the other. To stimulate a sustainable, digital, and resilient recovery of the agricultural and livestock industrial sector, there is an urgent need for testing and develop new ideas and products such as wearable sensors. By validating and demonstrating a fully functional wearable sensor prototype within an operational environment on the livestock farm that includes a miniaturized animal-borne biosensor and an artificial intelligence (AI) based data acquisition and processing platform, the unmet current needs can be fulfilled. The expected quantifiable results from wearable biosensors will demonstrate that the digitization technology can perform acceptably within the performance parameters specified by the agricultural sector and under operational conditions, to measurably improve livestock productivity and health. There is a need for a multimodal, digitized, automated biosensor and health monitoring platform containing AI algorithms for optimized stress and disease prediction in farm animals. An experimental development of non-invasive wearable and wireless physiological sensor networks that can be deployed in agricultural environments would allow for real-time extraction and integration of physiological data and display on decision support dashboards for livestock workers. By testing the effectiveness of the system in generating meaningful longitudinal data for further research into physiological and behavioral characteristics of farm animals, novel insights about animal welfare can be developed. The successful implementation of the digital wearable sensor networks would provide actionable real-time information on animal health status and can be deployed directly on the livestock farm, which will strengthen the green and digital recovery of the economy due to the significant innovation potential. Continuous monitoring of animal health and physiological functioning promotes more environmentally and socially acceptable developmental pathways. Once demonstrated, the portable animal health monitoring platform will close a critical gap in digitized livestock farming and position the agricultural industry as a frontrunner in the sector of farm animal monitoring and measurement systems. The multimodal wearable sensor-driven AI approach is expected to significantly improve the effectiveness of livestock decision support systems and the selection of resilient animals for the next generation and provide predictive data for end-users in livestock farming.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202302.0473.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Agricultural Science And Agronomy Keywords: Precision livestock farming; Digital livestock farming; Smart farming; Societal impacts; Data ownership; Open access; Sustainability; Animal ethics; Digital divide; Digital agriculture
Online: 27 February 2023 (10:16:27 CET)
The emergence of precision and digital livestock farming presents an opportunity for sustainable animal farming practices that enhance animal welfare and health. However, this transformation of modern animal farming through digital technology has several implications for the technological, social, economic, and environmental aspects of farming. It is crucial to analyze the ethical considerations associated with the digitalization of modern animal farming, particularly in the context of human-animal relationships and potential objectification. This analysis can help develop frameworks for improving animal welfare and promoting sustainability in animal farming.One of the primary ethical concerns of digital livestock farming is the potential for a digital divide between farmers who have access to advanced technologies and those who do not. This could lead to a disparity in animal welfare and health outcomes for different groups of animals. Additionally, the use of artificial intelligence in digital livestock farming may lead to a loss of personal connection between farmers and animals, which could impact the animal's well-being. Another ethical concern of digital livestock farming is the potential for objectification of animals as mere data points. The use of sensors and other monitoring technologies can provide valuable data on animal health and behavior, but it is important to remember that animals are sentient beings with complex emotional and social needs. The use of digital technologies should not lead to neglect of animal welfare or a lack of human responsibility towards animals.Furthermore, social context becomes essential while integrating technologies in the livestock farming to overcome ethics. By considering the cultural and societal norms of different communities, we can ensure that the use of digital technologies does not undermine these values. To address these ethical challenges, the development of standards and codes of conduct for the adoption and implementation of digital livestock farming tools and platforms can help ensure that animal welfare and sustainability are prioritized. This can help alleviate the privacy concerns of stakeholders and improve sustainability in animal farming practices. Additionally, the use of virtual and augmented reality technologies can provide a way to enhance human-animal interactions and provide more personalized care to animals, further promoting animal welfare.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.0079.v1
Online: 3 October 2023 (05:53:34 CEST)
Scientists, politicians, and practitioners are debating the current structure of pig farms in Lithuania, as medium and small farms have almost disappeared over the past decade. The debated problem is whether the revitalization of medium and small pig farms would sustainably contribute to self-sufficiency in pork? Therefore, this research aims to determine which farms in terms of size could be the most perspective. In order to achieve this aim the multi-criteria evaluation method TOPSIS was used. The economic, production and environmental indicators of Lithuanian pig farms and pig farming sector in Lithuania and selected EU countries: Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Germany, and Denmark were analyzed in this research. The multi-criteria evaluation led to the conclusion that Danish pig farms were the best managed. Germany occupied the second place. The industrial large farms were found as dominated in those countries. Large pig farms (approximately two thousand sows) appeared most perspective in Lithuania: they took the first place in the years examined (2016–2021). The criterion estimate of their assessed indicators was much higher than of the medium (100 sows) and small (20 sows) farms. The main reasons: significantly higher labour productivity, lower cost, lower price, and better production indicators.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0789.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Behavior Sciences Keywords: collaboration; empowerment; organic farming; sustainable
Online: 12 June 2023 (07:33:43 CEST)
In the era of disruption, to achieve food sustainability and the SDGs, Indonesia is faced with changes in the values, attitudes, and behavior of the community to be adaptive to environmental and technological changes. This study aims to analyze the factors that influence social transformation in peri-urban communities and their impact on food sustainability and the achievement of SDGs. The research method is a qualitative approach, triangulated by conducting in-depth interviews, field observations, and focus group discussion (FGD) in two districts. The results showed that factors influencing social transformation in peri-urban communities include: strengthening public awareness of the importance of food sustainability, access to information and technology, collaborative synergetic of government, companies, academics, and community participation in decision-making on empowerment programs. This social transformation leads to increased food production and poverty reduction. Private facilitators through CSR programs play a role in achieving food sustainability and achieving several SDG indicators related to poverty. The occurrence of collaborative synergetic between community participation, extension workers, village government, media utilization, academics, and companies contributes significantly to transforming the values, attitudes, and behavior of people managing community resources.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.0359.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: aspirations; aspirations of farmers; the role identity theory; farming-related aspirations; non-farming related
Online: 9 October 2023 (04:20:10 CEST)
This study aims to understand Filipino rice farmers’ aspirations, both farming and non-farming-related. Understanding aspirations can help the government and interested third-party entities to provide impactful initiatives to farmers. The Role Identity Theory guided our analysis in this study. This study is predominantly qualitative, with focus group discussion as the main method of collecting data. The research sites were in Kalinga, Nueva Ecija, Laguna, Quezon, Northern Samar, Zamboanga del Sur, Sultan Kudarat, and Agusan del Norte. Among the farming-related aspirations noted in this study relate to property, fair price, infrastructure, government support, and good governance. The non-farming related aspirations relate to infrastructure development; progress; government support and governance; love, passion, peace, and unity; wellness and long life.
SHORT NOTE | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0056.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biology And Biotechnology Keywords: Precision Livestock Farming; Digital Agriculure; Smart Farming; In Ovo Sexing; Big Data; Artificial Intelligence
Online: 2 November 2022 (11:03:44 CET)
Current commercial, pre-commercial, and experimental in ovo techniques for the sex determination of fertilised eggs employ either minimally invasive biomolecular assays (extracting fluid via a small laser-drilled window in the eggshell, for detection of genetic or hormonal biomarkers), analysis of volatile compounds emitted from the eggshell, visible imaging, and reflectance or transmission spectroscopic analysis exploiting molecular optical fluorescence, polarisation, and scattering phenomena, including various combinations of these modalities. , to date no endeavour employing the NIR and FTIR based spectroscopic techniques has resulted in a commercially sustainable solution to the egg sexing problem. Besides achieving only subpar performance in overall accuracy, specificity, and sensitivity, the least invasive of the current state-of-the-art optical methods still requires, creating a transmission window (fenestration) of 12–15 mm diameter through to the mammillae layer of the shell, proximal to the external shell membrane, which can affect the incubation or post-hatch development viability of up to 10% of incubated eggs. Multimodal solution combining Raman spectroscopy and hyperspectral imaging has strong prospects to overcome the hard barriers existing before the perfection of a non-invasive in-line process for high reliability and rapid throughput for sex determination of eggs within 3 days of incubation. The method for sexing of chicken embryos needs to take a multipronged approach in collecting and analyzing spectral data that points to biomarkers using the machine learning approaches to look for nanomolar to picomolar concentrations of these in the fluid.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0445.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Data Structures, Algorithms And Complexity Keywords: data mining; predictive analytics; Internet of Things; peasant farming; smart farming system; crop production prediction
Online: 31 January 2022 (10:58:30 CET)
Internet of Things (IoT) technologies can greatly benefit from machine learning techniques and Artificial Neural Networks for data mining and vice versa. In the agricultural field, this convergence could result in the development of smart farming systems suitable for use as decision support systems by peasant farmers. This work presents the design of a smart farming system for crop production, which is based on low-cost IoT sensors and popular data storage services and data analytics services on the Cloud. Moreover, a new data mining method exploiting climate data along with crop production data is proposed for the prediction of production volume from heterogeneous data sources. This method was initially validated using traditional machine learning techniques and open historical data of the northeast region of the state of Puebla, Mexico, which were collected from data sources from the National Water Commission and the Agri-food Information Service of the Mexican Government.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0489.v1
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: Agriculture; Copernicus initiative; Farming; Food traceability; Organic Farming; Rice; Rice paddy fields; Water Management; Sentinels
Online: 20 May 2021 (12:32:52 CEST)
Whereas a vast literature exists on satellite-based mapping of rice paddy fields in Asia, where most of the global production takes place, little has been produced so far that focuses on the European context. Detection and mapping methods that work well in the Asian context will not offer the same performances in Europe, where different seasonal cycles, environmental contexts, and rice varieties make distinctive features dissimilar to the Asian case. In this context, water management is a key clue; watering practices are distinctive for rice with respect to other crops, and within rice there exist diverse cultivation practices including organic and non-organic approaches. In this paper, we focus on satellite-observed water management to identify rice paddy fields cultivated with a traditional agricultural approach. Building on established research results, and guided by the output of experiments on real-world cases, a new method for analysing time series of Sentinel-1 data has been developed, which can identify traditional rice fields with a high degree of reliability. This work is a part of a broader initiative to build space-based tools for collecting additional pieces of evidence to support food chain traceability; the whole system will consider various parameters, whose analysis procedures are still at their early stages of development.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0456.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Agricultural Science And Agronomy Keywords: social farming; farming for health; inclusive model; migrants inclusion; ethics; innovation; social service; vulnerable people
Online: 29 February 2020 (08:55:22 CET)
The agricultural sector, even though it has been greatly reduced and is in constant transformation, continues to be of strategic importance. Although it does not represent a quantitatively relevant employment sector, the dynamics are interesting because they reflect the structural, economic and social transformations that are affecting the sector in recent years; there is a growing need for external labour that corresponds to a massive recourse of foreigners to work. Innovative approaches are required to explore the capacity of social farming to create a sustainable and inclusive workplace for migrant. The overall methodological approach of the paper seeks to synthesize fieldwork research and qualitative interviewing to validate the Italian inclusive model. To do this, we have selected four experiences of Italian social agriculture in which migrants are included.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.0695.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: respiratory health; ammonia; ventilation; smart farming
Online: 12 September 2023 (04:08:36 CEST)
This study aimed to assess the feasibility of employing audio and vision technologies as an integrated monitoring system to monitor the health and behavior of pigs under different environmental conditions and to associate these factors. A total of 81 growing pigs ((Landrace x Largewhite) x Duroc) with distinct weight categories (10.47 ± 2.57 kg and 28.81 ± 5.03 kg) were distributed into two distinct housing conditions: Control (characterized by low NH3 levels and low stocking density) and Treatment (marked by elevated NH3 levels and varying stocking densities). Each house was installed with a SoundTalks monitor for automated daily evaluation of respiratory health status (ReHS), and a camera with a microphone to facilitate manual tracking of respiratory symptoms and behavioral patterns. Results showed that the Treatment group encountered significantly high room temperature, NH3 concentration, and carbon dioxide levels, resulting in compromised growth performance—a phenomenon further exacerbated in high stocking density conditions. Pigs within the treatment exhibited increases (p < 0.05) in lateral and total lying behaviors, and incidences of ear and tail injuries, increases screaming frequency, conjunctivitis incidences, coughing frequency, elevated respiration rates, and a decrease in ReHS. The environmental conditions affect the behavior and health of the pigs. Moreover, the behavioral patterns of the pigs are associated with their health conditions. The SoundTalks system did not trigger any warnings during the experimental period. Nevertheless, trend analysis indicated a significant reduction in respiratory health in the treatment. In conclusion, this study underscores the efficacy of merging audio and visual technologies to holistically monitor pig health and behavior, enabling enhanced management strategies. Findings emphasize that monitoring the ReHS trend serves as a pivotal marker for identifying respiratory health problems, complementing the system's innate alarm functions.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0742.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: precision farming; biomarkers; diseases; dairy cows
Online: 23 April 2023 (03:25:02 CEST)
We hypothesized that reticuloruminal temperature and pH, as well as cow activity, can be used as biomarkers for the early diagnosis of clinical mastitis in dairy cows. Therefore, we aimed to detect the relationship between reticuloruminal temperature and pH, cow activity, and clinical mastitis in dairy cows. We randomly selected cows with clinical mastitis and clinical healthy cows (HG) out of 600 milking cows. We recorded the following parameters during the experiment: reticulorumen tem-perature (RR temp.), reticulorumen pH (RR pH), and cow activity. We used smaXtec boluses (smaXtec animal care technology®, Graz, Austria). In this investigation, reticulorumen data ob-tained seven days before diagnosis were compared to HG data from the same time period. CM cows were observed on the same days as the healthy cows. The healthy group’s RR pH was 7.32% higher than that of cows with CM. Reticulorumen temperature was also 1.25% higher in the CM group than in the control group. The healthy group had a higher average value for walking activity and was 17.37% higher than the CM group. The data of reticulorumen pH changes during 24 h showed that during the day, the pH changed from 5.53 to 5.83 in the CM group. By contrast, pH changed from 6.05 to 6.31 in the control group. The lowest reticulorumen pH in the CM group was detected on the third day before diagnosis. It was 15.76% lower than the highest reticulorumen pH detected on the sixth day before diagnosis. The lowest reticulorumen pH in CM cows was detected at 0 and 1 days before diagnosis. It was 1.45% lower than the highest reticulorumen pH detected on the second day before diagnosis. The lowest walking activity in the CM group was detected 0 days before diagnosis, 50.60% lower than on the fifth day before diagnosis. The lowest walking activity was detected 0 days before diagnosis, 39.57% lower than on the seventh day before diagnosis. In this study, we found that reticuloruminal temperature, reticuloruminal pH, and cow ac-tivity could be used as biomarkers for the early diagnosis of clinical mastitis in dairy cows.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0478.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Agricultural Science And Agronomy Keywords: adaptation; agriculture; riverbed farming; Terai; Nepal
Online: 27 April 2020 (04:34:38 CEST)
Riverbed farming (RbF) has emerged as an alternative form of agriculture. This farming supports the poor and marginalized farmers to adapt to climate change, especially in the degraded lands because of floods and flood-induced riverbank erosions every year. The government and non-government organizations (GOs/NGOs) have supported and built capacities of farmers to adopt this as an effective adaptation strategy in the region. This study aims to analyze the determinants of riverbed farming at the household level mainly in Deukhuri valley of Western Terai, Nepal. A total of 150 households were selected randomly for the study in Sisahaniya rural municipality for the household survey. The determinants of the adoption of riverbed farming have been analyzed utilizing independent variables such as age, gender, education, occupation, ethnicity, family size, and others. Education and occupation are positively significant for the adoption of riverbed farming whereas the family size is negatively significant. Agriculture is the main occupation in the area and education helped them to understand the concept and procedure of RbF as alternative farming in the degraded lands. However, not all the family members have actively contributed to the RbF. This is an interesting study that could be expanded with the support of GOs/NGOs.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0359.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Business And Management Keywords: contract farming; broiler producers; economic sustainability
Online: 24 March 2020 (11:58:03 CET)
This review has been realized within the agribusiness sector and experiments the Transaction Cost Theory a branch of the New Institutional Economy which explain market failure caused by many factors. Transaction costs are associated with carrying a transaction between buyers and sellers. This study has been conducted between 2014 and 2017; and has collected data from 11 broiler producers in Jezzine, Lebanon, about: Production costs, capital investment, revenues, land tenure, access to infrastructure, and information about the contract. The propensity score matching method is used to compare the effect of participating in contract farming and to solve the hypotheses, which say: There is a positive relationship between contract farming and the economic benefits of broiler producers and the development of the broiler sector in Jezzine District. Findings from farmer’s interviews indicated that sustainability, guaranteed price, risk reduction, credit facilities and technical aids are the main reasons for signing a contract. In contrast, Farmers have expressed problems concerning the contractors’ responsibilities such as delay in payment and delivery. Also, when prices are high, it was argued that farmers were selling the products in the open market.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.0406.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: food as medicine, culinary medicine, farming as medicine, medical education, regenerative agriculture, farming, soil health, nutrition
Online: 7 September 2023 (03:31:12 CEST)
The United States is plagued with the highest rates of preventable metabolic diseases it has ever seen, and while poor nutrition is increasingly recognized as a critical contributing factor, good nutrition has been shown to be a potent factor in prevention and management of these illnesses. Notably, nutrition is inextricably intertwined with farming practices and the stewardship of our environment – particularly its soil. In this proposal, we propose a method to expose medical students to basic agricultural and environmental knowledge regarding the production of food, as well as educate them in practical nutrition education within the interactive, case-based, and longitudinal preclinical curriculum at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine (CWRU SOM). We propose a two-part approach; first: integrating relevant topics in nutrition, culinary medicine, and farming practices into the preclinical blocks through Official Learning Objectives, and second: an optional 8-week, zero credit elective for students interested in pursuing a deeper understanding of these topics. Through these interventions, we believe courses like this will support a generation of physicians able to understand health from soil to plate with a consideration for the environment in addition to exemplifying healthful lifestyles themselves. We believe these kinds of future physicians will be the most effective in treating (and ideally reversing) the chronic disease epidemic.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0280.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Food Science And Technology Keywords: Thaumatin, sweet protein, molecular farming, natural sweeteners
Online: 11 December 2020 (12:56:40 CET)
There are currently worldwide efforts to reduce sugar intake due to the various adverse health effects linked with the overconsumption of sugars. Artificial sweeteners have been used as an alternative to nutritive sugars in numerous applications; however, their long-term effects on human health remain controversial. This led to a shift in consumer preference towards non-caloric sweeteners from natural sources. Thaumatins are a class of intensely sweet proteins found in arils of the fruits of the West-African plant Thaumatococcus danielli. Thaumatins’ current production method through aqueous extraction from this plant and uncertainty of the harvest from tropical rainforests limits its supply while the demand is increasing. Despite successful recombinant expression of the protein in several organisms, no large-scale bioproduction facilities exist. We present preliminary process design, process simulation, and economic analysis for a large-scale (50 metric tons/year) production of thaumatin II variant by several different molecular farming platforms.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0088.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Artificial Intelligence And Machine Learning Keywords: YOLOv2; transfer learning; pig farming; object detection
Online: 4 September 2020 (07:59:03 CEST)
Generic object detection is one of the most important and flourishing branches of computer vision and has real-life applications in our day to day life. With the exponential development of deep learning-based techniques for object detection, the performance has enhanced considerably over the last 2 decades. However, due to the data-hungry nature of deep models, they don't perform well on tasks which have very limited labeled dataset available. To handle this problem, we proposed a transfer learning-based deep learning approach for detecting multiple pigs in the indoor farm setting. The approach is based on YOLO-v2 and the initial parameters are used as the optimal starting values for train-ing the network. Compared to the original YOLO-v2, we transformed the detector to detect only one class of objects i.e. pigs and the back-ground. For training the network, the farm-specific data is annotated with the bounding boxes enclosing pigs in the top view. Experiments are performed on a different configuration of the pen in the farm and convincing results have been achieved while using a few hundred annotated frames for fine-tuning the network.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0104.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: Bale highlands; livestock; methane emissions; mixed farming
Online: 5 October 2018 (15:39:30 CEST)
The study was conducted in the potential mixed farming areas of Bale highland to estimate livestock methane emissions. Using multi-stage purposive sampling, 156 households of the three wealth groups were selected based on their livelihood assets as described under methodology. Structured questionnaires, focus group discussions, key informants interview and field visits were the employed methods during the study. Feed nutrient balance was estimated based on the demand and supply while the livestock methane emissions were estimated according to the IPCC guidelines. Descriptive statistics and one-way ANOVA tests were used to analyze the data. Cattle were the dominant (84.25%) livestock owned by the households. The estimated enteric CH4 emission rate from mature cattle, growing cattle, sheep >1 year, sheep ≤ 1 year, horse and donkey were significantly (P<0.001) higher for the better wealth group while mature cattle (69.78%) shared the highest rate. Though, higher emission rates credited to the large number of animals in the area, cattle stay crucial to the livelihoods of the households, beside the major sources of CH4. In conclusion, the estimated CH4 emissions should be focus areas of interventions. Therefore, proper husbandry and quality feed supply and promotion of farm level livestock technologies should be practiced wisely to increase productivity and protect the environment from emissions of the livestock sector.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0409.v2
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: Animal welfare; Virtual environments; Metaverse; Augmented reality; Precision Livestock Farming; Ethical farming; Sustainability; Livestock; Environmental impact; Digital agriculture
Online: 26 May 2023 (08:22:52 CEST)
The metaverse, a virtual world comprising a collective virtual shared space where users interact with one another through avatars and computer-generated objects, aims to closely mimic our real world by integrating elements of Artificial Intelligence (AI), immersive reality, advanced connectivity, and Web3. As metaverse technologies gain momentum across multiple sectors, including animal farming, their potential for addressing complex challenges such as climate change and sustainability in precision food production systems becomes increasingly apparent. However, it is crucial to consider the ethical implications and the role of sensor data and livestock behavior analysis in developing metaverse technologies for modern animal farming, given the sensitive and controversial nature of animal welfare. Failure to address these ethical considerations and harness the power of sensor data and behavior analysis could lead to a lack of credibility and insensitivity towards adopting metaverse technologies in the animal farming sector. It is essential to ensure that the development of metaverse technologies does not prioritize technology over animal welfare, ethics, socio-economic implications, and the potential for data-driven insights. Addressing diversity and equity in the context of animal farming and the metaverse is crucial to avoid perpetuating existing inequalities during the implementation of metaverse technologies. This groundbreaking paper ventures into unexplored territory, shedding light on the untapped potential of the metaverse for modern animal farming. While research on this topic is still in its infancy, we embark on a journey of visionary speculation, presenting a compelling technology forecast that envisions the extraordinary possibilities awaiting us in the future. By delving into the metaverse's transformative capabilities, we provide a glimpse into a world where animal farming transcends its traditional limitations and embraces a new era of efficiency, sustainability, and ethical practices.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.0362.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Security Systems Keywords: Blockchain; Poisoning Attacks; Internet of Things; Smart Farming
Online: 3 August 2023 (14:25:02 CEST)
Smart farming, as a branch of the Internet of Things (IoT), combines the recognition of agricultural economic competencies, the progress of data and information collected from connected devices with statistical analysis to characterize the essentials of the assimilated information, allowing farmers to make intelligent conclusions that will maximize the harvest benefit. However, the integration of advanced technologies requires the adoption of high-tech security approaches. In this paper, we present a framework that promises to enhance the security and privacy of smart farms by leveraging the decentralized nature of blockchain technology. The framework stores and manages data acquired from IoT devices installed in smart farms using a distributed ledger architecture, which provides secure and tamper-proof data storage and ensures the integrity and validity of the data. The study uses the AWS cloud, ESP32, the smart farm security monitoring framework, and the Ethereum Rinkeby smart contract mechanism, which enables automated execution of pre-defined rules and regulations. As a result of a proof-of-concept implementation, the system can detect and respond to security threats in real time, and the results illustrate its usefulness in improving the security of smart farms.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1663.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Agricultural Science And Agronomy Keywords: Ata; crop management; farming practices; Matigsalog; sustainable agriculture
Online: 23 May 2023 (14:33:00 CEST)
The Philippines is an archipelagic country composed of different indigenous cultural communities (ICCs) spread across various islands. Many of these Indigenous Peoples (IP) are marginalized and do not have access to common resources enjoyed in the lowland areas. An initial assessment focusing on the evaluation of their available livelihood and resources was conducted, in order to find common solutions to existing problems. The assessment took place at the office of the tribal council of Matigsalog in barangay Datu Salumay, Marilog District, Davao City from April 11 to 13, 2023. There were about 42 participants in total for Matigsalog tribes (26 men and 16 women) who attended the meeting and there were 15 participants from the Ata tribe (7 men and 8 women). Validation of the study separately took place through a brief presentation of the results before 15 members of the tribe and a hiking visit in their farmlands. The study determined the existing livelihoods in the two areas which are mainly agricultural, farming of crops (rice, corn, cassava, sweet potato) and fruit trees (coconut, banana, durian, jackfruit, pomelo) and the resources as well as the community’s knowledge, systems, and practices with regards to agricultural crops including climate change. Their sustainable farming practices include intercropping, seed-saving, and exchange practices, preserving these crop varieties and ensuring their availability for future planting seasons, no usage of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. To conclude, the tribe’s aspirations and resulting recommendations are summarized, to facilitate more directed and effective governmental assistance.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0569.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Plant Sciences Keywords: Occurrence; larval density; population; cropping system; farming practice
Online: 9 May 2023 (04:57:38 CEST)
The false codling moth (FCM), Thaumatotibia leucotreta (Meyrick), is believed to have originated from Ethiopia and sub-Saharan Africa. Currently, this pest has extensively spread and is found in most parts of Africa, with records in approximately 40 countries in over 100 host plant species. Despite Thaumatotibia leucotreta being the leading cause of interceptions of Capsicum and cut flowers exported by Kenya to the European Union, information on abundance and damage levels inflicted on capsicum is limited. The objective of the study was to assess the abundance and damage levels of T. leucotreta on capsicum in the selected counties in Lower Eastern Kenya (Kitui, Machakos, and Makueni counties). Higher T.leucotreta larval density per farm was recorded in Kitui County compared to other counties. In farms with capsicum only (not intercropped with other crops), the mean number of FCM larvae was relatively higher in Kitui. Farming practices such as the use of uncertified seeds and seedlings and the excessive use of pesticides may be the major contributors to high larval incidence in Kitui County.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0802.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Political Science Keywords: urban farming; actors; policy network; social network analysis
Online: 23 April 2023 (13:36:34 CEST)
This research aims to produce a network structure in the Integrated Urban Farming Program in Bandung City to map the policy actors involved in it as an effort to support food security in the city. This research uses a mixed method with an exploratory sequential strategy involving policy actors from the government, private sector, academia, community, and mass media. To obtain the network structure in integrated urban farming to determine the most important actors, this research uses a social network analysis approach by utilizing the Gephi application. The network structure is based on four dimensions, namely centrality. The results of this study confirm that the actor who has the most connections (degree centrality), as well as the one who holds the best communication control (betweenness centrality), is Parahyangan Catholic University (Academic). While the actor who plays the most important role (eigenvector) is at the lower level of the government Sub-District and Urban Village. This research is useful for explaining the importance of the position of actors in the urban agriculture policy network which is the key to the success of a program.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0224.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Accounting And Taxation Keywords: Climate change; contract farming; coping; adaptation strategies; Zimbabwe
Online: 15 September 2022 (08:27:58 CEST)
The literature on contract farming and climate change in Zimbabwe has blind spots in relation to the study of contract farming as a climate change response. While the literature on contract farming and climate change abounds, such literature is lacking when it comes to the exploration of how contract farming can facilitate climate change coping and adaptation strategies by smallholder farmers. This paper fills this gap. It draws on in-depth interviews with 10 contracted and 10 non-contract farmers who were engaged through face-to-face in-depth interviews in the Chipinge South Constituency. It found that contract farming does not only boost productivity, but it also enables farmers to positively respond to the ravages of climate change, and therefore, it should be supported and encouraged. Future research should explore more viable and sustainable way through which the state, instead of private sector actors, should be at the centre of contract farming.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0336.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Agricultural Science And Agronomy Keywords: agroecological farming; discourse analysis; mountain conservation; sustainable adoption
Online: 18 August 2022 (10:03:28 CEST)
Agroecological approaches are increasingly recommended for providing context-specific and sustainable solutions to issues confronting farming communities by enabling consorting the socioeconomic and ecological constraints on the farm. This study is the first attempt to test this argument based on the issue with sustaining adoption of soil erosion control measures among smallholder farmers producing Coffea arabica on the Rwenzori Mountain in Uganda. Here, the adoption of soil erosion control measures remains a challenge despite the increasing efforts through conventional agricultural advisory services in local governments. We contrast the elements of agroecology with the local discourses to identify if it would provide a panacea for sustaining adoption of soil erosion control measures. Results indicate that the agroecology elements harmonize with the local discourses on soil erosion control adoption in contrast to the conventional approach promoted through the agricultural advisory services. Drawing conclusions on the implication of this finding, we argue that, indeed, consideration of the agroecology elements at all stages in the process of soil erosion control would foster sustained adoption of soil erosion control measures.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0093.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Economics Keywords: tobacco control; tobacco farming; FCTC; Indonesia; public health
Online: 6 July 2022 (09:00:28 CEST)
The Indonesia’s Tobacco Excise Sharing Fund (DBHCHT) policy mandates that part of the fund should be allocated for tobacco crop diversification – reducing the farmers’ reliance on tobacco industry as well as implementing Article 17 of Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). However, very little is known on practical implication of this fund on tobacco farmers livelihood. We collected primary data from key stakeholders in four main tobacco producing municipalities. The data were analyzed using qualitative content analysis with NVivo 12. Numbers of challenges on DBHCHT utilization remained at sub-national levels. The sub-optimal use of DBHCHT could partly be explained by: (i) constantly changing central government regulation; (ii) farmers’ unawareness of DBHCHT regulation; (iii) the delay in DBHCHT allocation; and (iv) supply and demand mismatch. Although Indonesia has not been a part of the FCTC ratification, the DBHCHT mandate is in line with the FCTC article 17, i.e., promoting economically viable alternatives for tobacco farmers. This study concluded that DBHCHT utilization needs to go a long way to void this mandate given the challenges at sub-national level. Therefore, this study recommends more technical and practical regulations involving multisectoral stakeholders and the use of DBHCHT to facilitate financial needs of crop diversification.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0231.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Agricultural Science And Agronomy Keywords: vegetation indices; precision farming; hybrid; phenotyping; remote sensing
Online: 17 May 2022 (12:47:44 CEST)
Abstract: Early assessment of crop development is a key aspect of precision agriculture. Shortening the time of response before a deficit of irrigation, nutrients and damage by diseases is one of the usual concerns in agriculture. Early prediction of crop yields can increase profitability in the farmer's economy. In this study we aimed to predict the yield of four maize commercial hybrids (Dekalb7508, Advanta9313, MH_INIA619 and Exp_05PMLM) using remotely sensed spectral vegetation indices (VI). A total of 10 VI (NDVI, GNDVI, GCI, RVI, NDRE, CIRE, CVI, MCARI, SAVI, and CCCI) were considered for evaluating crop yield and plant cover at 31, 39, 42, 46 and 51 days after sowing (DAS). A multivariate analysis was applied using principal component analysis (PCA), linear regression, and r-Pearson correlation. In the present study, highly significant correlations were found between plant cover with VIs at 46 (GNDVI, GCI, RVI, NDRE, CIRE and CCCI) and 51 DAS (GNDVI, GCI, NDRE, CIRE, CVI, MCARI and CCCI). The PCA indicated a clear discrimination of the dates evaluated with VIs at 31, 39 and 51 DAS. The inclusion of the CIRE and NDRE in the prediction model contributed to estimate the performance, showing greater precision at 51 DAS. The use of RPAS to monitor crops allows optimizing resources and helps in making timely decisions in agriculture in Peru.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0372.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Food Science And Technology Keywords: Urban farming; aquaponics; food security; adoption; Nigeria; Africa
Online: 20 November 2021 (20:09:47 CET)
Countries in West Africa are adversely affected by climate change (erratic rainfall and rising temperature) resulting in floods, desertification, drought and sea level rise. These events are anticipated to have negative impacts on agricultural development on the continent, ultimately, contributing to food insecurity and environmental degradation. This implies that the production capacity of agrarian communities is unable to meet the food demand of the growing urban population. Can sustainable and innovative urban farming technology such as aquaponics achieve food security as well as sustainable development in countries vulnerable to climate change? This study uses inferential statistic to examine the plant growth performance in micro-scale aquaponics and specific growth rate per day (SGR) for the fish growth performance vis-à-vis conventional urban farming production. A quantitative analysis use to examine the barriers to adoption based on survey of (five) urban aquaculture practitioners in Lagos, Nigeria. Literature review was use to assess the economic feasibility of a small-scale aquaponics system in developing countries based on Net-Discounted Beneﬁt-Cost Rate (DBCR). The results suggest that aquaponics can improve food security through fish and vegetable production and it is likely that urban farming practitioners will adopt the technology if support mechanism are in place. Aquaponics systems present a novel opportunity to promote environmental conservation as well as sustainable food production and consumption in urban areas in Western Africa if adequate financial credit and knowledge transfer is provided.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201806.0399.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Economics Keywords: consumer perception; environment; health; income level; organic farming
Online: 25 June 2018 (16:40:48 CEST)
In the field of agricultural food production, the transition between organic and inorganic farming methods has been an issue of much debate. The debate, on one hand, stresses the urgency for the transition in order to preserve environment and health; and, on the other hand, emphasizes the pressure of maintaining food production for a large growing population. Thus, the dilemma is how to find an agricultural system that would balance between obtaining food security and ensuring a safe sustainably environment-friendly food production system. This article focuses on the debate, in the context of Bangladesh, and questions whether it is the proper time, and stage in the development process, to attempt the transition from inorganic conventional food production methods to organic food production methods. This article contemplates why the organic rice market is not expanding in Bangladesh, and attempts to explain the slow growth of the market through the two main factors of income constraint and lack of awareness among people about the environmental and health detriments of inorganic farming methods. The study is exploratory in nature, and finds that it is not mainly the lack of awareness but the income constraint that can be principally attributed to the slow expansion of the organic rice market in Bangladesh. Through exploring consumers’ awareness about organic farming methods and their demand for organic products, this study shows how income as the major constraint, besides price, affects consumers demand for organic and inorganic rice in Bangladesh. Income being identified as the major barrier reveals the potential of the organic rice market to grow in the future, as Bangladesh continues its journey towards becoming a middle-income country.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.0719.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Water Science And Technology Keywords: Water quality; Farming system; Water Framework Directive; Agricultural watershed
Online: 10 November 2023 (14:42:23 CET)
Despite much published literature on the impacts of agriculture on water quality, knowledge gaps persist regarding which farming systems are of most concern for these relationships, which could help water resource planners better target water management efforts. This study addresses these subjects, seeking to understand how this relationship varies across different farming systems. We used data on water quality status in watersheds of an agricultural region in southern Portugal and crossed it with a map of farming systems for the same region provided by a previous study. By overlaying both data layers, we characterized the areal shares of the farming systems in the watersheds and inspected how these shares relate with water quality status through logistic regression. Results support that the impact of agriculture on water quality is mostly related with specific farming systems. We believe this type of information can be of high interest for agricultural planners and policymakers interested in meeting water quality standards, and we conclude by suggesting innovative policy options based on payments to farmers operating selected farming systems, as a cost-effective way to reconcile agricultural and environmental policy objectives.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.1291.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: Dairy products; Farming diversification; Musculoskeletal disorders; Pain; Risk analysis
Online: 19 October 2023 (16:45:14 CEST)
Background. In a changing European agricultural context, diversification of dairy farms is gaining attention. This study seeks to (1) assess musculoskeletal pain prevalence associated with tasks such as butter, yogurt, and cheese production; and (2) analyze associated risks. Methods. Observing 31 mostly female workers, it utilized the ERGOROM questionnaire, a methodology adapted from the Institut National de Recherche et de Sécurité, and Key Indicator Method forms. Results. Findings revealed that tasks like load carrying (42% of workers), manual work (17%), and awkward postures (14%) resulted in musculoskeletal pain, predominantly in the lower back (65%), neck (39%), and dominant upper limb areas (shoulder: 61%, elbow: 26%, and wrist: 65%). While psychosocial risks remained low, concerns arose from workload, hygiene standards, and resource unpredictability. Conclusions. As dairy farming evolves from artisanal to semi-industrial, the study emphasizes the importance of ergonomic adaptations to protect farmer health and prevent musculoskeletal disorders during diversification.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.1364.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Agricultural Science And Agronomy Keywords: Tomato; Root-knot nematodes; Site-specific farming; Mwea, Kenya
Online: 20 September 2023 (07:13:05 CEST)
Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) is a high value horticultural crop in Kenya. Nutritionally, the crop is rich in niacin, carotene, thiamine, and vitamin C. Mwea in Kirinyaga County is one of the major tomato growing areas in Kenya. Tomato production in Kenya is hindered by losses due to diseases caused by pathogens that include plant parasitic nematodes (PPN). Among the plant parasitic nematodes, the root-knot nematode (RKN) is the most predominant in Mwea. This study investigated the soil parameters that influence the distribution of the RKN for the purpose of mapping their distribution. This is important since it ensures that nematicide application is only to specific sites where these nematodes are found thereby saving on input costs as well as protecting the environment. The study consisted of surveys conducted in geo-referenced tomato production fields in seven (7) tomato production sites in Tebere and Mwea. Sampling was done in a stratified random manner in both rainfed and irrigated tomato production fields in both dry and rainy seasons for determination of the spatial and temporal distribution of nematodes, respectively. Nematode extraction was done using the centrifugal floatation technique and identification done to genera level using morphological features. Soil characteristics determining PPN distribution patterns in tomato production fields of Mwea were measured using standard methods. Soil parameters measured included soil pH, electrical conductivity, elevation and soil texture. The PPN incidence and diversity was determined using the Shannon-Weiner species diversity index. Detrended canonical correspondence analysis (DCCA) was performed to interpret and summarize major patterns of variation within the soil variable data and to estimate the ability of each soil variable to reflect variance in the entire PPN data set. Fourteen (14) genera of nematodes were identified with the diversity between 0.6 and 1.2. RKN distribution differed significantly (p<0.05) among the sites. Among the soil samples analyzed, 81% were positive for RKN infestation. There was an insignificant difference (p>0.05) between nematode densities in the dry and rainy seasons. Rainfed fields exhibited a significantly higher (p<0.05) RKN population densities compared to irrigated fields. The study established a great variability in the soil parameters in the area. The RKN distribution pattern, density and abundance were inversely correlated (p<0.05) with the soil pH and positively correlated (p<0.05) with soil EC. Based on the inverse relationship between soil pH and RKN distribution in the Mwea ecosystem, maps of nematode distribution and soil pH were developed. This enables the possibility of a site specific system for management of RKN
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.1083.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Economics Keywords: beef cattle farming; supportive policies; evaluation; propensity score matching
Online: 18 September 2023 (05:52:49 CEST)
Based on survey data from 297 beef cattle farmers in five provinces, Hunan, Ningxia, Inner Mongolia, Shandong and Gansu, the impact of the package of support policies on farmers' beef cattle production was assessed by means of propensity score matching (PSM). The results showed that the package of support policies, the education level of the household head, participation in beef cattle professional cooperatives and taking out loans for beef cattle farming had significant positive impacts on farmers’ inventories of beef cattle and breeding cows. The current package of beef cattle support policies implemented by the national and local governments has significantly promoted the production of beef cattle by farmers, and the effects of the policy implementation have been positive. The implementation of the relevant support policies led to increases in farmers’ inventories of approximately 17 head of beef cattle and approximately 9 head of breeding cows. The contribution rates of the policy implementation to the beef cattle and breeding cow inventories reached 52.96% and 67.30%, respectively.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.2037.v1
Subject: Engineering, Electrical And Electronic Engineering Keywords: LoRa; NB-IoT; LPWAN; coverage; vehicle tracking; smart farming
Online: 30 August 2023 (15:26:14 CEST)
This study focuses on the recently emerged Internet of Vehicles (IoV) concept to provide an integrated agricultural vehicle/machinery tracking system through two leading low power wide area network (LPWAN) technologies, namely LoRa and NB-IoT. The main aim is to investigate the theoretical coverage limits by considering the urban, suburban, and rural environments. Two vehicle tracking units (VTUs) have been designed for LoRa and NB-IoT connectivity technologies that can be used as reference hardware in coverage analysis. On this basis, the closed-form explicit analytical expressions of the maximum transmission range have been derived using the Hata path loss model. Besides, the computer simulation results have been validated via the maps from XIRIO online radio planning tool. In light of the obtained findings, several evaluations have been made to enhance the LPWAN-based agricultural vehicle tracking feasibility in smart farms.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.0721.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Soil Science Keywords: Consortium; Essential oil; FYM, Mentha; Organic farming; Soil health
Online: 9 August 2023 (05:21:02 CEST)
Mentha is one of the predominant cash crops in India. However, it is a heavy feeder of nutrients. Organic sources of nutrients not only help in adequate nutrition but also maintain favorable physicochemical and biological soil environments. The present study was conducted to evaluate the response of different combinations of nutrients with microbial bio-fertilizer on mentha crops from 2020 to 2022. The experiment was carried out in the Randomized Complete Block Design with four replications and eight treatments viz; T1 - Control, T2 - RDF (N 75 kg ha-1, P2O5 20 kg ha-1), T3 - RDF + water soaking of roots, T4 - RDF + root soaking with bio-fertilizer, T5 - RDF + bio-fertilizer @ 10 kg ha-1, T6 - 100% N from FYM + water soaking of roots, T7 - 100% N from FYM + root soaking with bio-fertilizer and T8 - 100% N from FYM + bio-fertilizer @ 10 kg ha-1. The treatment T8 (100% N from FYM + bio-fertilizer @10 kg ha-1) significantly outperformed and recorded the highest growth and yield attributes viz; emergence count, stools count, plant height, leaf area index, leaf stem ratio, fresh and dry herb yield.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0331.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Agricultural Science And Agronomy Keywords: milk lactose; automatic milking system; smart farming; dairy cows
Online: 15 September 2020 (04:51:45 CEST)
In this study pH, temperature of the contents of the forestomach of cows and cow activity were measured using specific smaXtec boluses manufactured for animal care. Rumination time, body weight, milk yield, milk fat/protein ratio, milk lactose, milk somatic cell count, milk electrical conductivity and conception of concentrates were registered with the help of Lely Astronaut® A3 milking robots. The following parameters were obtained: base excess in blood, partial carbon dioxide pressure, partial oxygen pressure, bicarbonate, hydrogen potential, total carbon dioxide carbon, base excess in extracellular fluid, sodium, calcium, potassium, packed cell volume, chlorides, hemoglobin concentration and lactate. According to the concentration of lactose in milk, cows were grouped into two groups: group 1 - milk lactose <4.70% (n = 20), group 2 - milk lactose ≥ 4.70% (n = 15). Data of cows were also divided by milk fat and protein ratio: F/P<1.2 (class 1), F/P=1.2 (class 2) and F/P>1.2 (class 3). According our results we can conclude that inline registered milk lactose concentration can be used as indicator for the health status of fresh dairy cows. Cows with higher lactose concentration (≥ 4.70%) developed more activity (54.47%) and had less risk of mastitis (lover milk EC, and SCC) and metabolic disorders according to F/P. Cows with higher lactose concentration showed higher glucose concentrations. Low level of lactose can be used as indicator of mastitis (milk SCC ≥ 100 thousand/ml) and metabolic disorders according to F/P.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0417.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biology And Biotechnology Keywords: adaptation physiology; sensors; precision livestock farming; wearable animal sensors
Online: 19 July 2020 (18:27:52 CEST)
Despite recent scientific advancements, there is a gap in the use of technology to measure signals, behaviors, and processes of adaptation physiology of farm animals. Sensors present exciting opportunities for sustained, real-time, non-intrusive measurement of farm animal behavioral, mental, and physiological parameters with the integration of nanotechnology and instrumentation. This paper critically reviews the sensing technology and sensor data-based models used to explore biological systems such as animal behavior, energy metabolism, epidemiology, immunity, health, and animal reproduction. The use of sensor technology to assess physiological parameters can provide tremendous benefits and tools to overcome and minimize production losses while making positive contributions to animal welfare. Of course, sensor technology is not free from challenges; these devices are at times highly sensitive and prone to damage from dirt, dust, sunlight, colour, fur, feathers, and environmental forces. Rural farmers unfamiliar with the technologies must be convinced and taught to use sensor-based technologies in farming and livestock management. While there is no doubt that demand will grow for non-invasive sensor-based technologies that require minimum contact with animals and can provide remote access to data, their true success lies in the acceptance of these technologies by the livestock industry.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0370.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Agricultural Science And Agronomy Keywords: organic farming; persistent organic pollutants; crops; peasant farmers; education
Online: 20 July 2018 (04:09:42 CEST)
Organic farming products are fast gaining acceptance from consumers all over the world due to the perceived belief that they are safe for human consumption. In recent years, there has been an increase in the levels of persistent organic and inorganic pollutants in the environment. These pollutants may be found in materials such as sewage sludge, treated wastewater, farmyard manure (human and animal feaces and urine) that are used for organic farming. The present review examined through literature the presence of these emerging pollutants in crops that are cultivated from farming activities practicing organic farming. The review highlighted and documented various pollutants that may be found in crops due to non-compliance with legislation establishing organic farming. The need to develop a robust method for identifying safe products from organic farming was highlighted. The impact of non-compliance and lack of proper education on the peasant farmers practicing backyard farming was also enumerated.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.1823.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Agricultural Science And Agronomy Keywords: drought, food security, short-growing season, rainfed agriculture, subsistence farming
Online: 27 July 2023 (05:47:30 CEST)
In semi-arid regions, climate change has affected crop growing season length and sowing time, potentially causing low yield of the rainfed staple crop pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum L.) and food insecurity among smallholder farmers. In this study, we used 1994–2023 rainfall data from Namibia's semi-arid North-Central Region (NCR), receiving November–April summer rainfall, to analyze rainfall patterns and trends and their implications on the growing season to propose climate adaptation options for the region. The results revealed high annual and monthly rainfall variabilities, with nonsignificant negative trends for November–February rainfalls, implying a shortening growing season. Furthermore, we determined the effects of sowing date on grain yields of the early-maturing Okashana-2 and local landrace Kantana pearl millet varieties and the optimal sowing window for the region, using data from a two-year split-plot field experiment conducted at the University of Namibia-Ogongo Campus, NCR, during the rainy season. Cubic polynomial regression models were applied to grain yield data sets to predict grain production for any sowing date between January and March. Both varieties produced the highest grain yields under January sowings, with Kantana exhibiting a higher yield potential than Okashana-2. Kantana, sown by 14 January, had a yield advantage of up to 36.0% over Okashana-2, but its yield gradually reduced with delays in sowing. Okashana-2 exhibited higher yield stability across January sowings, surpassing Kantana’s yields by up to 9.4% following the 14 January sowing. We determined the pearl millet optimal sowing window for the NCR from 1–7 and 1–21 January for Kantana and Okashana-2, respectively. These results suggest that co-cultivation of early and late pearl millet varieties and growing early-maturing varieties under delayed seasons could stabilize grain production in northern Namibia and enhance farmers' climate adaptation. Semi-arid agro-region policymakers could utilize this information to adjust local seed systems and extension strategies.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.1162.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Agricultural Science And Agronomy Keywords: modern agriculture; smart farming; cloud computing; internet of things; survey
Online: 18 July 2023 (13:51:22 CEST)
Development of agriculture in Russia and Belarus is based on the practical implementation of "smart" systems in agriculture based on the use of modern wireless, intelligent technologies and Internet of Things. This review presents research articles (mainly, in Russian) published in the period of 2013 – 2022 on the use of cloud technologies and Internet of Things for the development of agriculture in Russia and Belarus. An analysis of the use of cloud technologies and Internet of Things in the modern world is given on the basis of research articles and reviews published in English in the period of 2017 – 2022. The main directions of digitalization of modern agriculture are listed. The uses of cloud technologies and Internet of Things in agriculture are described along with promising directions for further research and applications.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1519.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Artificial Intelligence And Machine Learning Keywords: crop prediction; machine learning; feature selection; artificial intelligent; smart farming
Online: 22 May 2023 (11:24:05 CEST)
This research investigates the potential benefits of integrating machine learning algorithms and IoT sensors in modern agriculture. The focus is on optimizing crop production and reducing waste through informed decisions about planting, watering, and harvesting crops. The paper discusses the current state of machine learning and IoT in agriculture, highlighting key challenges and opportunities. It also presents experimental results that demonstrate the impact of changing labels on the accuracy of data analysis algorithms. The findings recommend that by analyzing wide-ranging data collected from farms, including real-time data from IoT sensors, farmers can make more informed verdicts about factors that affect crop growth. Eventually, the integration of these technologies can transform modern agriculture by increasing crop yields while minimizing waste. In our studies, we achieve a classification accuracy of 99.59% using the Bayes Net algorithm and 99. 46% using Naïve Bayes Classifier, and Hoeffding Tree algorithms. Our results indicate that we achieved high accuracy results in our experiments in order to increase crop growth.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202210.0405.v1
Subject: Engineering, Energy And Fuel Technology Keywords: agriculture; agrivoltaic; Canada; energy policy; farming; Alberta; photovoltaic; solar energy
Online: 26 October 2022 (09:19:37 CEST)
As Alberta increases solar power generation, land use conflicts with agriculture increase. A solution that enables low-carbon electricity generation and continued (in some cases increased) agricultural output is the co-locating of solar photovoltaics and agriculture: agrivoltaics. This study reviews policies that impact the growth of agri-voltaics in Alberta. Solar PV-based electricity generation is governed by three regula-tions based on system capacity. In addition, agrivoltaics falls under various legisla-tions, frameworks, and guidelines for land utilization. These include Land Use Frame-work, Alberta Land Stewardship Act, Municipal Government Act, Special Areas Dis-position, Bill 22 and other laws/policies all of which are reviewed in the context of agrivoltaics. Several policies are recommended to support rapid diffusion of agrivolta-ics. First, open access research into agrivoltaics, which not only will help optimize agrivoltaic systems for the region, but also coupled with public education is expected to galvanize social acceptability of large-scale PV deployment. Clearly defining and categorizing agrivoltaic technology, developing agrivoltaic standards, making agri-voltaic technology-friendly regulations/frameworks and developing programs and pol-icies to incentivize agrivoltaic deployment over conventional PV will all accelerate dif-fusion. Through these measures, Alberta can achieve conservation and sustainability in food and energy sector while simultaneously addressing the renewable energy and climate-related goals.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0437.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Geography, Planning And Development Keywords: Mixed farming; Household resilience; livelihood insecurity; Diversification; structural equation model
Online: 27 December 2021 (15:51:04 CET)
Poor households are more likely less resilient under climate change, risks of productive assets, social-related shocks, and decline of land productivity. The ability to deal with household resilience against poverty under the uncertain condition of risk is limited in the highlands of Ethiopia. The study aims to identify determinants of household resilience to livelihood insecurity under the crop-livestock mixed farming systems in Goncha district, Northwest highlands of Ethiopia. Primary data were collected by conducting face-to-face interviews among 280 households using structured questionnaire. Descriptive statistics, Kruskal-Wallis test and structural equation modeling were used to analyse the data. The results disclosed that sustainable management of the farming systems, cultivation of more fertile farmland, saving performance, diversification of income-earning activities, intensification of livestock husbandry practices, access to irrigation, and familiarity with practical technologies were found to be significant determinants at p<0.001 to household resilience of smallholder farmers. Social network development and tree plantation were explained household resilience to livelihood insecurity at P<0.01 and P<0.1 significant levels, respectively. The study concluded that scaling up sustainable management of the farming system and practical technologies, enhancing saving behavior, promoting income diversification, and intensifying agroforestry are significant for household resilience to livelihood insecurity of smallholders across agro-ecologies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0149.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Geography, Planning And Development Keywords: Farm fragmentation; Land fragmentation; cattle farming; agricultural productivity; Northern Ireland
Online: 9 October 2021 (13:47:08 CEST)
Farm fragmentation is the occurrence of numerous and often discontinuous land parcels associated with a single farm. Farm fragmentation is considered to be a defining feature of Northern Ireland’s (NI) agricultural landscape, influencing agricultural efficiency, productivity, and the spread of livestock diseases. Despite this, the full extent of farm fragmentation in cattle farms is not well understood, and little is known of how farm fragmentation either influences, or is influenced by, different animal production types. This study describes and quantifies farm fragmentation metrics for cattle enterprises in NI, presented separately for dairy and non-dairy production types. We find that 35% of farms consist of five or more fragments, with larger farms associated with greater levels of farm fragmentation, fragment dispersal and contact with contiguous farms. Moreover, this was particularly evident in dairy farms, which were over twice the size of farms associated with non-dairy production types, with twice as many individual land parcels and twice as many fragments. We hypothesise that the difference in farm fragmentation and farm size between dairy and non-dairy production types is associated with the recent expansion of dairy farms after the abolition of the milk quota system in 2015, which may have driven the expansion of dairy farms via the acquisition of land. The high levels of land fragmentation, fragment dispersal and contiguous contact observed in NI cattle farms may also have important implications for agricultural productivity and epidemiology alike. Whilst highly connected pastures could facilitate the dissemination of disease, highly fragmented and parcellised land could also hamper productivity via diseconomies of scale, such as preventing the increase of herd sizes or additionally, adding to farm costs by increasing the complexity of herd management.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0319.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Computer Science Keywords: IoT; Smart Farming; sensor data; agricultural; Fuzzy logic; Network coding
Online: 16 August 2021 (10:56:10 CEST)
Climate risk is one of the confronting factors in Indian agriculture. To overcome this distrust, a large number of sensors can be installed in the fields,The extensive IoT platform can process the data sent by these sensors.The Data stream can be processed in real-timeusing Fuzzylogic, to offer smart solution. Network coding can enhance throughput and security. Thus reducing human interaction and improve efficiency.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0262.v1
Subject: Engineering, Control And Systems Engineering Keywords: IoT; Smart Farming; sensor data; agricultural; Fuzzy logic; Network coding
Online: 11 August 2021 (14:09:12 CEST)
Climate risk is one of the confronting factors in Indian agriculture. To overcome this distrust, a large number of sensors can be installed in the fields,The extensive IoT platform can process the data sent by these sensors.The Data stream can be processed in real-timeusing Fuzzylogic, to offer smart solution. Network coding can enhance throughput and security. Thus reducing human interaction and improve efficiency.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0293.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Veterinary Medicine Keywords: precision dairy farming; milk progesterone; production; reproduction; automatic milking system
Online: 14 July 2020 (05:48:53 CEST)
The aim of the instant study was to evaluate relative inline progesterone dynamic changes according to parity and status of reproduction and to estimate the relationship with productivity in dairy cows by inline milk analysis system (IMAS) Herd Navigator. According to a progesterone assay, cows were divided into three periods: postpartum, after insemination, and pregnancy. In the first stage of the postpartum period (0-29 days), the progesterone level in milk was monitored every 6 days. The second stage of the postpartum period (30-65 days) lasted until cows were inseminated. In the third period (0-45 days) after cows were inseminated, progesterone scores were distributed according to whether or not cows became pregnant. The stability of progesterone dynamics was monitored in the last study period (45-90 days). For milk progesterone detection, the fully automated real-time progesterone analyzer Herd Navigator (Lattec I/S. Hillerød. Denmark) was used in combination with a DeLaval milking robot (DeLaval Inc., Tumba, Sweden). The highest progesterone concentration in multiparous cows ranged from 1.08% (11-17 days postpartum) to 34.89% higher than that in cows of the first parity. The lowest progesterone concentrations in the milk of all cows were estimated during the first 5 postpartum days and between 18 and 23 days after calving. Peak milk progesterone concentrations were evaluated in the first stage of the experiment on days 24-29 after calving. In the 30-65-day period after calving, the level of milk progesterone was 2.02-2.08 times higher than that in the 24-29-day postpartum period. After insemination, the level of progesterone in milk increased by 10.77-22.54% compared with the level from cows on days 30-65 after calving. A higher (12.88%) concentration of progesterone in milk was evaluated in multiparous cows compared with that from cows of the first parity. In pregnant cows, milk progesterone within 0-45 days after insemination was 23.88% (in multiparous cows) and 32.54% (in primiparous cows) higher than that in non-pregnant cows. On days 31–35 after insemination, pregnant cows had higher milk progesterone levels, which can predict pregnancy success. According to our study results, we can suggest that an inline progesterone concentration determined by inline milk analysis system Herd Navigator and changes in its dynamics correlate with different reproductive statuses and milk yield of cows. Pregnant cows 11–15 days after insemination have higher milk progesterone levels, what positively, associated with a successful pregnancy.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.0064.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Food Science And Technology Keywords: organic foods; food safety; obesity; cancer; biodiversity; climate change; organic farming
Online: 2 October 2023 (12:02:11 CEST)
In recent years, organic agriculture has gained more popularity, yet its approach to food production and its potential impact on consumers’ health and various environmental aspects remain to be fully discovered. The goal of organic farming practices is to maintain soil health, sustain ecological systems, maintain fairness in its relationship with the environment and protect the environment in its entirety. Various health benefits have been associated with higher consumption of organic foods. This review identified some of these health benefits including a reduction in obesity and body mass index (BMI), improvements in blood nutrient composition as well as a reduction in maternal obesity and pregnancy-associated preeclampsia risk. Furthermore, organic food consumption can reduce the development of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and colorectal cancers. Upon reviewing existing literature regarding the nutritional value of organic foods, it was found that organic food contained higher levels of iron, magnesium, and vitamin C. However, the evidence available to draw definitive generalizations remains limited. In this review, we provided essential insights to support sustainable organic farming and highlighted the potential of organic food consumption that could play a pivotal role in positively impacting human health.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.1628.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Agricultural Science And Agronomy Keywords: climate change; farming systems; space-for-time; marginal effect; choice modelling
Online: 25 September 2023 (10:25:13 CEST)
Climate change is expected to affect the agricultural sector in ways that are often unclear to predict. If in the short- medium-terms farmers may adapt to climate change by adjusting agricultural practices, in the long-term these adjustments may become insufficient, forcing farmers to change their farming systems. The extent and direction in which these farming system transitions will occur is still a subject underexplored in the literature. We propose a new framework to explore the marginal effect of climate change on the choice of the farming system, while controlling the effect of other drivers known to also influence farming system choice. Using a spatial-explicit farming system choice-model developed by a previous study in an extensive agricultural region of southern Portugal, we applied a space-for-time approach to simulate the effect of climate change on the future dynamics of the farming systems in the study area. Results suggest that climate change will force many farmers to change the farming system in a foreseeable future. The extent of the projected changes in farming systems is likely to trigger significant social, economic, or environmental impacts, which should require early attention from policy makers.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.1932.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Agricultural Science And Agronomy Keywords: precision livestock farming (PLF); image recognition model; feeding and fecal health
Online: 28 July 2023 (02:36:29 CEST)
This study proposes an image recognition method to assist swine farm managers in collecting health data related to pig feeding and excretion. Analyzing the correlation between sow health data and indoor air quality in the pigsties revealed significant influences of air quality indicators on sow health. Increased levels of TVOC, CO2, and temperature were found to negatively affect feeding health, while increased temperature, humidity, and PM10 were found to negatively impact excretion health. These findings provide a basis for evaluating variables when constructing future sow disease prediction models. Analyzing the correlation between pig health status and air quality can help swine farm managers improve sow production environments, reduce disease risks, enhance production efficiency, and provide valuable insights for future research on disease prediction models.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0440.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: livelihood diversification; entropy index; capital; rice farming households; Partial Least Squares
Online: 6 June 2023 (10:39:11 CEST)
Rice farming households having limited capital do various combinations of the capital to get diversified livelihoods in continuing their lives. The purpose of this study was to analyze the effect of the household capital of rice farmers on livelihood diversification in Indramayu District. Survey method with data sources from 214 rice farming households taken by proportional simple random sampling technique. Data analysis used the partial least square method. The results found that the household capital of rice farmers has a positive and significant effect on the livelihood diversification. Government policy recommendations were determined in order of priority are physical capital with the help of agricultural tools and machinery, natural capital by anticipating climate change, financial capital by increasing support for capital sources, social capital by social networks, and human capital by improving farming skills.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1562.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Parasitology Keywords: cattle tick; resistance development; communal farming; acaricide; Rhipicephalus microplus; amitraz; deltamethrin
Online: 23 May 2023 (04:27:13 CEST)
Chemical acaricides are widely used to control ticks and tick borne pathogens on cattle. However, prolonged and indiscriminate use of these chemicals inevitably leads to selection of resistant ticks. In-vitro bioassays (adult and larval immersion tests) were conducted to assess amitraz and del-tamethrin resistance in Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus populations from communal farms of the King Sabata Dalindyebo municipality of South Africa. Data generated on percentage inhibi-tion of oviposition (% IO) revealed that all the tick populations assessed showed resistance (% IO≤ 95%) to at least one of the acaricides. All six tick populations assessed for efficacy (% IO≥ 95% at the DD) with deltamethrin were resistant (% IO≤ 95%) and only one of six tick populations as-sessed for efficacy with amitraz was susceptible. Based on resistance ratios, the adult immersion test detected amitraz and deltamethrin resistance in three and five of the six tick populations re-spectively. With the larval immersion test, deltamethrin and amitraz resistance (Larval mortality < 90 % at the DD) was detected in all four, and three of four R. (B.) microplus populations assessed respectively. This data is critical for the design of an effective and sustainable tick control strategy on the communal farms.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0093.v1
Subject: Engineering, Electrical And Electronic Engineering Keywords: Precision Farming; UAVs; Agriculture; Machine Learning; Deep Learning; CNN; Transformers; GANs.
Online: 3 May 2023 (04:33:32 CEST)
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) are increasingly being used in a variety of domains and precision agriculture is no exception. Precision agriculture is the future of agriculture and will play a key role in long-term sustainability of agricultural practices. This paper presents a survey of how image data collected using UAVs has been used in conjunction with ma-chine learning techniques to support precision agriculture. Numerous agricultural applications including classification of crop types and trees, crops detection, weed detection, cropland cover, and segmentation of farming fields are discussed. A variety of supervised, semi-supervised and unsupervised machine learning techniques for image-based preci-sion agriculture are compared. The survey showed that for traditional machine learning approaches, Random Forests performed better than Support Vector Machines (SVM) and K-Nearest Neighbor Algorithm (KNN) for crop/weed classification. And, while Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN) have been used extensively, the U-Net-based models out-performed conventional CNN models for classification and segmentation tasks. Among the Single Stage Detectors (SSD), YOLO series performed relatively well. Two-Stage Detectors like R-CNN, FPN, and Mask R-CNN generally tended to outperform SSDs. Vision Trans-formers (ViT) showed promising results amongst transformer-based models which did not generally perform better than CNNs. Finally, Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) have been used to address the problem of smaller datasets and unbalanced data
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0563.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Agricultural Science And Agronomy Keywords: Prunus dulcis; almond agroecosystem; sustainable management; metabarcoding; phytopathogenic fungi; organic farming.
Online: 29 December 2022 (15:04:13 CET)
A comparative study of organic and conventional farming systems was conducted in almond orchards to determine the effect of management practices on their fungal and bacterial communities. Soils from two orchards under organic (OM) and conventional (CM), and nearby nonmanaged soil (NM) were analyzed and compared. Several biochemical and biological parameters were measured (soil pH, electrical conductivity, total nitrogen, organic material, total phosphorous, total DNA, and fungal and bacterial DNA copies). Massive parallel sequencing of regions from fungal ITS rRNA and bacterial 16S genes was done to characterize their diversity in the soil. We report a larger abundance of bacteria and fungi in soils under OM, with a more balanced fungi:bacteria ratio, compared to bacteria-skewed proportions under CM and NM. The fungal phylum Ascomycota corresponded to around the 75% relative abundance in the soil, whereas for bacteria, the phyla Proteobacteria, Acidobacteriota and Bacteroidota integrated around 50% of their diversity. Alpha diversity was similar across practices, but beta diversity was highly clustered by soil management. Linear discriminant analysis effect size (LEfSE) identified bacterial and fungal taxa associated to each type of soil management. Analyses of fungal functional guilds revealed 3-4 times larger abundance of pathogenic fungi under CM compared to OM and NM treatments. Among them, the genus Cylindrocarpon was more abundant under CM and Fusarium under OM.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0456.v1
Subject: Arts And Humanities, Archaeology Keywords: Chagga; water infrastructures; water management; sustainable farming; social complexity; community collaboration
Online: 23 December 2022 (09:00:41 CET)
Since the second half of the second millennium AD, water management among the Chagga people of Kilimanjaro in Tanzania has involved community collaboration in the construction, ownership and management of water infrastructure. Chagga settlement on the lower slopes of Kilimanjaro transformed the landscape significantly to reflect an agrarian society characterised by decentralised forms of socio-political and economic organisation. Such organization involved conception, construction, and post-construction management of water distribution systems, constituting high-level socio-political complexity. The study employs ethnography, archaeological surveys and GIS to document water infrastructures on the lower slopes of Kilimanjaro. We conclude that community collaboration was key in management of the water infrastructure and by extension, agriculture, which sustained Chagga and chiefdoms for centuries.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0316.v2
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: Precision farming; Early crop-type mapping; Sentinel-2; Random Forest; SVM
Online: 17 January 2022 (10:54:10 CET)
Crop-type mapping is an important intermediate step for cost-effective crop management at the field level, as an overview of all fields with a particular crop type can be used for monitoring or yield forecasting, for instance. Our study used a data set with 2400 fields and corresponding satellite observations from the federal state of Bavaria, Germany. The study classified corn, winter wheat, winter barley, sugar beet, potato, and winter rapeseed as the main crops grown in Upper Bavaria. We additionally experimented with a rejection class "Other", which summarised further crop types. Corresponding Sentinel-2 data included the normalised difference vegetation index (NDVI) and raw bands from 2016 to 2018 for each selected field. The influence of raw bands compared to NDVI was analysed and the classification algorithms, i.e. support vector machine (SVM) and random forest (RF), were compared. The study showed that the use of an index should be critically questioned and that raw bands provided a wider spectral bandwidth, which significantly improved the mapping of crop types. The results underline the use of RF with raw bands and achieved overall accuracies (OA) of up to 92%. We also predicted crop types in an unknown year with significantly different weather conditions and several months before the end of the growing season. Thus, the influence of climate anomalies and the accuracy depending on the time of prediction were assessed. The crop types of a test site and year without labels could be determined with an OA of up to 86%. The results demonstrate the usefulness of the proof-of-concept and its readiness for use in real applications.
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: Wheat; yield; triple-super-phosphate; sulfur; nitrogen; micro-dosing, precision-farming
Online: 21 July 2021 (08:22:32 CEST)
This research was specifically aimed at assessing the influence of sulfur in triple-super phosphate (TSP) on wheat yield. From the results, wheat showed response to sulfur (S) from gypsum (in 67%); and nitrogen (N) from urea in about 100% (of 24 sites). Based on this N was found to be the most limiting element to wheat production followed by sulfur, and then by phosphorus. TSP is tested to contain agronomically up to 2-6% by weight of S. However, wheat didn’t show response to S impurity supplied in the form of TSP. Though, not statistically significant, it is observed that there have always been yield increments by certain percent due to S from TSP in 8 out of 10 target sites, which is depicted in the increasing trends of yield response curves. From this it is learnt that, the benefits of the accidental/incidental application of such high analysis fertilizers can be many-folds in the quality attributes of wheat, if the soils of such investigation at the same time would contain significant amount of organic matter (OM). Indeed, such analysis would be vital in varietal specific nutrient requirement studies in precision-farming and/or in categorizing soils into fertility gradients and fertilizer recommendation domains.
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: vertical farming; controlled environment agriculture; plant factories; biostimulant; microbiome; hydroponics; aeroponics
Online: 28 May 2021 (11:07:33 CEST)
Vertical farming (VF) is a potential solution for the production of high-quality, accessible, and climate-friendly nutrition for growing urban populations. However, to realize VF’s potential as a sustainable food source, innovative technologies are required to ensure that VF can be industrialized on a massive scale and extended beyond leafy greens and fruits into the production of food staples or row crops. A major obstacle to the economic and environmental sustainability of VF is the lighting energy consumed. While technological advances have improved the energy efficiency of VF lighting systems, there has been insufficient research into biostimulation as an approach to reduce energy needs. We conducted a controlled trial to investigate the application of a phycocyanin-rich Spirulina extract (PRSE) as a biostimulant in hydroponically grown, vertically farmed lettuce (Lactuca sativa and Salanova®). PRSE application reduced the time from seeding to harvest by 6 days, increased yield by 12.5%, and improved quality including color, taste, texture, antioxidant flavonoid levels and shelf life. Metagenomic analysis of the microbial community of the nutrient solution indicated that PRSE increased the overall bacterial diversity including raising the abundance of Actinobacteria and Firmicutes and reducing the abundance of potentially pathogenic bacteria. This preliminary study demonstrates that microalgae-derived biostimulants may play an important role in improving the economic and environmental sustainability of VF.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202001.0121.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Behavior Sciences Keywords: unmanned aerial vehicles; smart farming; precision agriculture; technological frames; case study
Online: 12 January 2020 (14:48:29 CET)
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are one of the most promising innovative technologies invented in recent years to promote precision agriculture and smart farming. UAVs can not only reduce labor requirements but also increase production output, reduce the use of pesticides, and protect the environment. However, previous studies on agricultural UAVs have mostly focused on technical problems such as software and hardware design. Few studies have examined users’ behaviors in the implementation process. On the basis of Orlikowski and Gash’s technological frames, this study explored the participants’ cognition and expectation of farmers, pesticide, sprayers, and agriculture officials, who are three key groups of stakeholders involved in the application of UAVs to pesticide spraying, regarding agricultural UAVs and examined how the conflicts between their cognition and expectation influenced the choice of using pesticide spraying UAVs. The conclusions of this study contributed to supplement the content and broaden the scope of application of technological frame theory and provided a crucial reference for the promotion of agricultural UAVs in practice.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.1059.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: Internet of Things (IoT); Precision Livestock Farming (PLF); Animal welfare; Pig behavior; Mul-timodal data; Accelerometer sensors; Stress analysis; Gait analysis; Physiological monitoring; Sustainable farming practices
Online: 17 July 2023 (07:27:18 CEST)
This paper pioneers a novel exploration of environmental impacts in livestock farming, with a focus on pig farming's intersection with climate change and sustainability. It emphasizes the transformative potential of data-driven Artificial Intelligence (AI) methodologies, specifically the Internet of Things (IoT) and multimodal data analysis, in promoting equitable and sustainable food systems. The study observes five pigs, aged 86 to 108 days, using a tripartite sensor that records heart rate, respiration rate, and accelerometer data. The unique experimental design alternates between periods of isolation during feeding and subsequent pairing, enabling the investigation of stress-induced changes. Key inquiries include discerning patterns in heart rate data during isolation versus paired settings, fluctuations in respiration rates, and behavioral shifts induced by isolation or pairing. The study also explores potential detection of gait abnormalities, correlations between pigs' age and their gait or activity patterns, and the evolution of pigs' walking abilities with age. The paper scrutinizes accelerometer data to detect activity changes when pigs are paired, potentially indicating increased stress or aggression. It also examines the adaptation of pigs to alternating isolation and pairing over time, and how their heart rate, respiration rate, and activity data reflect this process. The study considers other significant variables, such as time of day and isolation duration, affecting the pigs' physiological parameters. Sensor data is further utilized to identify behavioral patterns during periods of feeding, isolation, or pairing. In conclusion, this study harnesses IoT and multimodal data analysis in a groundbreaking approach to pig welfare research. It underscores the compelling potential of technology to inform about overall pig welfare, particularly stress levels and gait quality, and the power of data-driven insights in fostering equitable, healthy, and environmentally conscious livestock production systems.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.0214.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: Human-Centric AI in Livestock Farming; Sensor Technologies in Animal Welfare; Digital Livestock Farming; Objective Animal Welfare Indicators; AI-Driven Animal Health Monitoring; Farmer-Centric Technology Adoption
Online: 5 September 2023 (09:25:06 CEST)
In the wake of rapid advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and sensor technologies, a new horizon of possibilities has emerged across diverse sectors. Livestock farming, a domain often sidelined in conventional AI discussions, stands at the cusp of this transformative wave. This paper delves into the profound potential of AI and sensor innovations in reshaping animal welfare in livestock farming, with a pronounced emphasis on a human-centric paradigm. Central to our discourse is the symbiotic interplay between cutting-edge technology and human expertise. While AI and sensor mechanisms offer real-time, comprehensive, and objective insights into animal welfare, it's the farmer's intrinsic knowledge of their livestock and environment that should steer these technological strides. We champion the notion of technology as an enhancer of farmers' innate capabilities, not a substitute. Our manuscript sheds light on: Objective Animal Welfare Indicators: An exhaustive exploration of health, behavioral, and physiological metrics, underscoring AI's prowess in delivering precise, timely, and objective evaluations. Farmer-Centric Approach: A focus on the pivotal role of farmers in the adept adoption and judicious utilization of AI and sensor technologies, coupled with discussions on crafting intuitive, pragmatic, and cost-effective solutions tailored to farmers' distinct needs. Ethical and Social Implications: A discerning scrutiny of the digital metamorphosis in farming, encompassing facets like animal privacy, data safeguarding, responsible AI deployment, and potential technological access disparities. Future Pathways: Advocacy for principled technology design, unambiguous responsible use guidelines, and fair technology access, all echoing the fundamental principles of human-centric computing and analytics. In essence, our paper furnishes pioneering insights at the crossroads of farming, animal welfare, technology, and ethics. It presents a rejuvenated perspective, bridging the chasm between technological advancements and their human beneficiaries, resonating seamlessly with the ethos of the Human-Centric Intelligent Systems journal. This comprehensive analysis thus marks a significant stride in the burgeoning domain of human-centric intelligent systems, especially within the digital livestock farming landscape, fostering a harmonious coexistence of technology, animals, and humans.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.1703.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Water Science And Technology Keywords: Recirculating aquaculture system; water quality; (peri-)urban farming; Nigeria; sub-Sahara Africa
Online: 27 November 2023 (12:10:41 CET)
Food and nutrition insecurity, affecting 30% of the global population in 2020, poses a significant challenge to achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 - Zero Hunger. Urbanization, particularly in sub-Saharan African cities e.g. Lagos, Nigeria, exacerbates these issues, impacting resources and contributing to informal settlements. There is emphasis on innovative solutions in urban farming, with Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS) emerging as one of the promising approach due to its efficiency in space and capital utilization. However, maintaining optimal conditions in RAS, crucial for SDG 2 and 11, requires robust water quality monitoring. This study explores the availability of digital tools for water quality monitoring in small-scale urban RAS, evaluating handheld devices and IoT sensors' reliability through t-test statistical method. The results aim to guide practitioners in selecting effective monitoring tools, contributing valuable insights for sustainable aquaculture in urban areas, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, where access to affordable digital solutions is pivotal for success and can attract youth to agri-food technologies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.1568.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Waste Management And Disposal Keywords: water governance; rice farming; irrigation; community fisheries; community fish refuge; water conflict
Online: 25 October 2023 (11:42:26 CEST)
Cambodia faces the challenge of managing excess water during the wet season and insufficient water during the dry season. This harms human life and endangers aquatic and natural resources, agricultural practices, and food security. In order to ensure the well-being of both people and food security, water governance is crucial. However, Cambodia's water governance is hindered by various obstacles, including sectoral and centralized influences, top-down and large-scale strategies, a lack of coordination among relevant agencies, and limited involvement of local communities. This study delves into water governance across different sectors, from centralized to community-based natural resources management to tackle these challenges. Through analyzing literature and case studies of farmer water user communities (FWUC), community fisheries (CFis), and community fish refuges (CFRs) in three Mekong Delta provinces in Cambodia, the study concludes that although water governance has improved, it has resulted in a decline in fishery resources from rivers and water bodies and an increase in water conflicts among farmers and sectors in the face of climate change. To enhance water governance in Cambodia, it is critical to integrate it at the district level. This will promote sustainable water use and management across the country and pave the way for a brighter future.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0654.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: Southwest Ethiopia; Farming Communities; Climate change; Perception, Vulnerability; Capital; Livelihood vulnerability index
Online: 20 April 2023 (10:56:29 CEST)
This study assesses the perception and vulnerability of the farming communities to climate change in the southwestern parts of Ethiopia. Data were collected from 442 households in four districts: Jimma Arjo, Bako Tibe, Chewaka, and Sekoru. The vulnerability of the farming communities was assessed using the households’ livelihood vulnerability index. A total of 40 indicators were applied to calculate household livelihood vulnera-bility to climate change, which were categorized into five major capitals: natural, social, financial, physical, and human. The household percep-tions of climate change results showed that there existed a statistically significant relationship between climate change perceptions and changes in rainfall pattern (75.6%, p<0.001), temperature pattern (69.7%, p<0.001), drought (41.6%, p=0.016), flood (44.1%, p=0.000), and occurrence of early (53.2%, p<0.001) and late rain (55.9%, p<0.001). The results showed that households in Sekoru district were the most vulnerable (0.61), while Jimma Arjo district were less vulnerable (0.47) to the effect of climate change. The vulnerability of the households in the study areas is mainly related to the occurrence of drought, lack of much-needed infrastructure facilities and weak institutional support. Links with the financial organization are also lacking among the household. The findings of this study will support policymakers to design climate change adap-tation strategies to combat climate change impacts. To support disaster risk management on the one hand and increase the resilience of vulnera-ble societies to climate change on the other hand, we recommend a detailed assessment in the remaining districts of the region.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0502.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Sustainable Science And Technology Keywords: data centre; vertical farming; energy-saving; sustainability; emission reductions; waste heat energy
Online: 18 April 2023 (07:55:16 CEST)
Data centres, though a necessary part of modern society, are being stigmatised for consuming vast amounts of electricity for their operational and cooling needs. Due to Ireland’s reliance on fossil fuels to meet the increased energy demand of data centres, the data centres are contributing significantly to Ireland’s total carbon emissions. As much of this energy is expelled from data centres as waste heat energy, the potential for recycling some of this wasted heat energy was explored using environmentally friendly systems from recent publications. The recovered waste heat energy was applied in a vertical farming system, and the benefits of this waste heat to the vertical farm were analysed and quantified in two scenarios. Using conservative estimates, it was predicted that each vertical farm could be between 5-23% the size of the data centre and produce enough food to feed between 14-61 adults their daily calorie needs, and between 13-58 people their daily fresh produce requirements, depending on the scenario applied. For a more accurate prediction, each vertical farm would have to be assessed on a case-by-case basis. However, there was not enough data available on Irish data centres to perform these calculations.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202210.0041.v1
Subject: Engineering, Architecture, Building And Construction Keywords: Food security; Urban farming; Fish protein; RAS; Land; Water; Sub-Sahara Africa
Online: 5 October 2022 (12:30:37 CEST)
The urban population in developing countries, especially sub-Saharan Africa, is rapidly increas-ing. As towns and cities grow, so does the demand for fish protein. While flow-through aqua-culture can provide fresh, healthy and nutritious fish protein, it is plagued by extensive land re-quirement as well as effluent discharge, thus, unsuitable for city regions. Alternatively, small-scale Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS) could improve food and nutritional security (FNS), livelihoods as well as reduce environmental degradation in urban areas despite land and water constraints. The question however remains - what are the key technical, business and managerial issues, surrounding small-scale RAS in urban farming? This study reviews the RAS prototype of the Sustainable Aquaponics for Nutritional and Food Security in Urban Sub-Saharan Africa (SANFU) II project based on mass balance and stock density, relevant for fish survival and/or availability as well as net cash-flow analyses. The results suggest that small-scale RAS are technically and financially viable only with family labor having proper aquaculture monitoring and management skills. Furthermore, access to adequate equipment and inputs as well as electricity for the recirculating system are crucial. Urban innovation actors will adopt RAS if operations are profitable given that family labor is employed.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0496.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Agricultural Science And Agronomy Keywords: carbon farming; carbon foot printing; low carbon agriculture; carbon sequestration; carbon economy
Online: 25 August 2021 (15:01:05 CEST)
Carbon farming is a capable strategy for more sustainable production of food and other related products. It seeks to produce the diverse array of natural farming methods and marketable products simultaneously. In agroforestry system, carbon sequestration is done by incorporating carbon dioxide (CO2) into plant biomass via photosynthesis. Carbon is, thus, stored in reserves of above-ground biomass, such as timber or branches, and below-ground biomass such as roots, or organic carbon in the soil. In addition to the significance of carbon sequestration in climate change mitigation, soil organic carbon (SOC) is an imperative indicator for the soil health as well as fertility. The change in SOC can explain whether the land use pattern degrades or improves the soil fertility. SOC, found in the soil in the form of soil organic matter (SOM), helps to improve soil health either directly or indirectly. Its direct consequence is related to the process of mineralization. Further, agroforestry is highly capable of generating huge amounts of bio-mass. In fact, agroforestry is believed to be particularly suitable for replenishment of SOC. Therefore, efforts should be made to convince farmers for their resource-use efficiency and soil conserving ability in order to get maximum benefits out of agriculture. According to food and agriculture organization (FAO,) agriculture, forestry, and other land use practices account for 24% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and total global livestock emissions of 7.1 gigatons of CO2-equivalent per year, representing 14.5% of total anthropogenic GHG emissions. Agroforestry system that deliberately integrates trees and crops with livestock in the agricultural production could potentially increase carbon sequestration and decrease GHG emission from the terrestrial ecosystems, thus, helping in global climatic change mitigation. This study, therefore, aimed at clarification about carbon farming, modifications in carbon cycle and carbon sequestration during agricultural development in addition to benefits of agroforestry.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0364.v1
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: Poultry behaviour; target tracking; deep learning; precision livestock farming; poultry production systems.
Online: 16 May 2021 (22:43:58 CEST)
The world's growing population is highly dependent on animal agriculture. Animal products provide nutrient-packed meals that help to sustain individuals of all ages in communities across the globe. As the human demand for animal proteins grows, the agricultural industry must continue to advance its efficiency and quality of production. One of the most commonly farmed livestock is poultry and their significance is felt on a global scale. Current poultry farming practices result in the premature death and rejection of billions of chickens on an annual basis before they are processed for meat. This loss of life is concerning regarding animal welfare, agricultural efficiency, and economic impacts. The best way to prevent these losses is through the individualistic and/or group level assessment of animal on a continuous basis. On large-scale farms, such attention to detail was generally considered to be inaccurate and inefficient, but with the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) assisted technology individualized and per-herd assessments of livestock are possible and accurate. Various studies have shown cameras linked with specialized systems of AI can properly analyze flocks for health concerns, thus improving the survival rate and product quality of farmed poultry. Building on the recent advancements, this review explores the aspects of AI in the detection, counting and tracking of the poultry in commercial and research-based applications.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints202011.0476.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: Organic Farming; Sustainable Agriculture; Ecosystem Services; Life Cycle Assessment; EU Green Deal
Online: 18 November 2020 (12:39:42 CET)
The European Union green deal has proposed the “organic farming action plan” to render this farming system more sustainable for climate mitigation and adaptation and to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs). While this policy instrument is fundamental to reach sustainable agriculture, there is still no agreement on what sustainable agriculture is and how to measure it. This opinion paper proposes an ecosystem-based framework on the crop life-cycle to determine the balance between economic, social and environmental pillars of sustainability to support decision-making.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0514.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Agricultural Science And Agronomy Keywords: acrylamide; free asparagine; agriculture; organic farming; cultivars; cultivar selection; cereal production; cereals
Online: 23 October 2018 (03:57:10 CEST)
For cereals grown under organic conditions, information on levels of free asparagine (free Asn) as a precursor to acrylamide (AA) formation, is almost completely lacking. This study investigated the impact of organically grown cereal species and cultivars of winter wheat (Triticum aestivum), winter spelt (Triticum aestivum ssp. spelta), winter rye (Secale cereale), winter einkorn (Triticum monococcum) and winter emmer (Triticum dicoccum) on the level of free Asn with simultaneous consideration of grain yields and flour qualities over three growing seasons (2005–2006, 2006–2007 and 2007–2008) in Southwest Germany. Additionally, the relation of free Asn and AA was investigated. Heritability revealed how strongly the level of free Asn was linked to the genotype. In this context free Asn of species and cultivars grown at a second location in Southern Germany were analysed. The level of free Asn was significantly influenced by species and within species by cultivars. Rye was found to exhibit the highest free Asn amount (52 mg 100 g−1), followed by einkorn (32 mg 100 g−1), emmer (16 mg 100 g−1) wheat (10 mg 100 g−1) and spelt (8 mg 100 g−1), which showed the overall lowest free Asn content. Hence, replacing rye with spelt in food products would lead to an 85% reduction of free Asn in raw material. Within species, cultivars differed in their levels of free Asn by up to 67% for wheat, 55% for spelt and 33% for rye. Year also had a significant impact as almost all samples were significantly higher in their level of free Asn in 2008 compared to 2006 and 2007. Rye was most significantly affected by year as the level of free Asn varied by up to 32% between years. In contrast, wheat and spelt were only affected minimally by year. A high heritability was found for wheat (0.79) and spelt (0.91) concerning locations in 2008, meaning that the level of free Asn is mainly determined by the genotype and less influenced by environmental conditions. In contrast, heritability was low for wheat (0.23) but high for spelt (0.71) and rye (0.67) regarding years. As for organically grown cereals the relation between free Asn and AA formation was never investigated before. Correlation of both parameters was calculated. There was also a close correlation between free Asn and AA. Across species and years, the amount of free Asn correlated with the AA content in heated flour with R2 = 0.69***. Thus, free Asn can serve as an indicator for AA formation during processing. In conclusion, the level of free Asn can be highly influenced by proper selection of species and cultivars under organic growing conditions.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0036.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: foraging activity; food exploitation; sugar nectar concentration; tropical species; meliponiculture; bee farming
Online: 3 July 2018 (11:08:42 CEST)
Stingless bee beekeeping provides new opportunities to improve the incomes of many households in Malaysia through the sale of honey and other bee products. While Heterotrigona itama is one of the most commonly cultured species of stingless bees, its behavior is not very well understood. Hence, we conducted this study to investigate the behavior of H. itama in exploiting food sources by ascertaining the nectar sugar concentration preferred by the bee. We also aimed to determine the preferred distance of food source from the bee hive. Our results suggest that H. itama prefers high sugar concentrations of 35% and above, and they would fly up to 7 m from the hive to collect food. We discuss how nectar concentration and food distance influence the number of bees exploiting food sources and the overall foraging pattern of H. itama.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.0150.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Plant Sciences Keywords: organic-; conventional-farming; next-generation sequencing; metagenomics; microbial diversity; N2-fixing bacteria; archaea
Online: 2 November 2023 (10:53:27 CET)
Lentil (Lens culinaris Medik.) is an essential legume crop providing healthy and nutritious food for people in low- to middle-income countries, worldwide. Lentil roots support symbiotic interactions with soil rhizobia species fostering nitrogen fixation; however, assemblage and diversity of the complete microbial rhizosphere community and the effect of seed genotype and origin remains largely unexplored. In this study we examined with metagenomic analysis, the effects of seed origin on the rhizosphere’s communities in samples of the famous Greek lentil landrace Eglouvis derived from different local farmers and farming systems including a Gene Bank sample, in comparison to a commercial variety. The landrace exhibited higher rhizosphere microbiome diversity compared to the commercial variety for all indexes. A core microbiome comprised of 158 taxa was present in all samples, while higher number of unique bacterial taxa was recorded in the landrace samples compared to the commercial cultivar. Noteworthy, landrace samples originated from organic farming had more than double unique taxa compared to conventional counterparts. The study revealed higher diversity of N2 fixers and archaea, Crenarchaeota and Thaumarchaeota, in landrace samples and particularly in those derived from organic farming, underpinning the distinct recruiting efficiency of beneficial soil microbes by the landrace.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.0027.v1
Subject: Engineering, Other Keywords: Hard bottom layer; Surface profile features; Local roughness; Unmanned farms; Smart farming machines
Online: 4 July 2023 (02:07:02 CEST)
The hard bottom layer of paddy field has a great influence on the driving stability and operation quality and efficiency of intelligent farm machinery, and the continuous improvement of unmanned precision operation accuracy and operation efficiency of paddy field operation machin-ery is the support to realize unmanned rice farm. In this paper, in view of the complicated hard bottom layer situation of unmanned operation farm machinery driving is difficult to realize to quantify the local characteristics of hard bottom layer of paddy field, the unmanned rice direct seeding machine chassis is used to operate the operation field and collect the hard bottom layer information simultaneously, and the data processing method of automatic calibration of sensor installation error, abnormal value rejection and 3D sample curve denoising of contour trajectory is designed; a hard bottom layer surface profile evaluation method based on the local sliding surface roughness is proposed. The local characteristics of the hard bottom layer were quantified, and the quantified results of the local characteristics of the hard bottom layer in the test plots showed that the mean value of the local roughness was 0.0065, 68.27% was distributed in the variation range of 0.0042~0.0087, and 99.73% was distributed in the variation range of 0~0.0133. Based on the test field data, the surface roughness features are verified to describe the variability of representative working conditions such as transport, downfield, operation and trapping of unmanned operation of intelligent farm machinery. The method of quantifying the hard-bottom local features of farm machinery driving can provide feedback on the local environmental features of intelligent farm machinery driving at the current position, and provide a reference basis for the design optimization of unmanned system for improving the quality of intelligent farm machinery operation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0683.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: Agricultural Censuses; Common Agriculture Policy; Direct Payments; Farming Systems; Logit; Portugal; Small Farmers
Online: 21 April 2023 (08:16:05 CEST)
One of the stated goals of the Common Agricultural Policy reforms has been to provide a fairer distribution of payments across and within Member States, but little progress has been accomplished, with about 20% of farmers receiving 80% of the total amount of Direct Payments. The structural factors that underlie this inequity, notably the preponderance of specific types of farming systems, are investigated in this research. A logit model was developed using Agricultural Census data at the Commune level, using the evolution of the percentage of farmers receiving Direct Payments in Portugal as the dependent variable. The findings reveal that the local importance of arable crops (cereals) and cattle farming systems, as well as the existence of larger farms and younger farmers, all contributed to farmers' increasing access to DP between 2009 and 2019. In traditional Mediterranean farming systems, however, access to DP has been restricted to a smaller proportion of farmers. However, there appears to have been some redistribution in the previous two CAP programming cycles, from bigger to smaller farmers, older to younger farmers, and from olives, cereals, and cattle to other types of production, notably vineyards.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0119.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: Agroecology; Bio-economic farm models; Crop Syst; Aqua Crop; Organic farming; sustainable development
Online: 7 July 2022 (09:12:26 CEST)
Nations of the world have seen unprecedented changes in climate variables in recent decades. But it is unclear to what extent climate change has impacted and will impact food systems in some developing regions, and how policymakers can frame an approach to encouraging adaptation and advancing climate-smart agriculture. Many studies attempting to link agroecology to climate change adaptation do so without understanding the potential of Agroecology not only to mitigate climate change – which is the weak response – but to reverse its impact and ‘climate proof’ our food systems. By modeling the near and far future impacts of climate change on crop production, we showed how climate will impact crop production under two crop production systems (agroecology and non-agroecology production systems). The overarching aim is to derive sustainable development strategies and lessons for policymakers and climate researchers - essential components of environment and Agricultural development. Using case studies from Nigeria, we observed that transitioning to agroecology, even at the farm level also transforms farm designs, thereby affecting their overall food and nutrition status. The result showed that the use of agroecology management practices not only reduces the impact of climate change in the near future but will also lead to increased crop yield in the future. The finding suggests that to feed the over 400 million projected population of Nigeria by 2050, the use of agroecological practices will be a better alternative to the conventional farming methods. To advance the use of agroecological farming methods, governments at every level in Nigeria need to mainstream organic agriculture in national government policies. This is important as it will not only address climate change impacts but also hunger and poverty.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0021.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Agricultural Science And Agronomy Keywords: vertical farming; controlled environment; lettuce cultivars; anthocyanin; light quality; LEDs; light recipe; stomata
Online: 1 June 2022 (13:17:55 CEST)
Indoor crop cultivation systems such as vertical farms or plant factories necessitate artificial lighting. Light spectral quality can affect plant growth and metabolism and, consequently, the amount of biomass produced and the value of the produce. Conflicting results on the effects of light spectrum in different plant species and cultivars make it critical to implement a singular lighting solution. In this study we explored the response of green and red leaf lettuce cultivars (’Aquino’, CVg, or ‘Barlach’, CVr, respectively) to long-term blue-enriched light application (WB). Plants were grown for 30 days in a growth chamber with optimal environmental condi-tions (temperature: 20°C, relative humidity: 60%, ambient CO2, Photon Flux Density (PFD) of 260 µmol m-2 s-1 over an 18-h photoperiod). At 15 days after sowing (DAS) white spectrum LEDs (WW) were compared to WB (λPeak = 423 nm) maintaining the same PFD of 260 µmol m-2 s-1. At 30 DAS, both lettuce cultivars resulted adapted to the blue light variant, though the adaptive re-sponse was specific to the variety. Rosette weight, light use efficiency and maximum operating efficiency of PSII photochemistry in the light, Fv/Fm’, were comparable between the two light treatments. Significant light quality effect was detected on stomatal density and conductance (20% and 17% increase under WB, respectively, in CVg) and, on the modified anthocyanin re-flectance index (mARI) (40% increase under WB, in CVr). Net photosynthesis response was gen-erally stronger in CVg compared to CVr; e.g. net photosynthetic rate, Pn, at 1000 µmol m-2 s-1 PPFD increased from WW to WB by 23% in CVg, compared to 18% in CVr. Results obtained suggest the occurrence of distinct physiological adaptive strategies in green and red pigmented lettuce cultivars to adapt to the higher proportion of blue light environment.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0430.v1
Subject: Engineering, Energy And Fuel Technology Keywords: agriculture; agrivoltaic; Greater Golden Horseshoe; Canada; energy policy; farming; Ontario; photovoltaic; solar energy
Online: 27 December 2021 (13:52:09 CET)
Well-intentioned regulations to protect Canada’s most productive farmland restrict large-scale so-lar photovoltaic (PV) development. The recent innovation of agrivoltaics, which is the co-development of land for both PV and agriculture, makes these regulations obsolete. Burgeoning agrivoltaics research has shown agricultural benefits including increased yield for a wide range of crops, plant protection from excess solar energy and hail, improved water conservation while maintaining agricultural employment and local food supplies. In addition, the renewable electricity generation decreases greenhouse gas emissions while increasing farm revenue. As Canada in general, and Ontario in particular, is at a strategic disadvantage in agricultural without agrivoltaics, this study investigates the policy changes necessary to capitalize on the benefits of using agrivoltaics in Ontario. Land use policies in Ontario are reviewed. Then, three case studies (peppers, sweet corn and winter wheat) are analyzed for agrivoltaic potential in Ontario. These results are analyzed in conjunction with potential policies that would continue to protect the green-belt of the Golden Horseshoe, while enabling agrivoltaics in Ontario. Four agrivoltaic policy areas are discussed: increased research and development, enhanced education/public awareness, mechanisms to support Canada’s farmers converting to agrivoltaics and using agrivoltaics as a potential source of trade surplus with the U.S.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0368.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: Precision Livestock Farming; Sensors; Animal Ethics; Animal Welfare; Society; Sustainability; Human-animal relationships
Online: 16 July 2021 (11:27:24 CEST)
The demand for animal products is expected to continue to rise, which requires the development of efficient livestock farming systems. Environmental, societal and economic concerns regarding this industry are however accumulating, addressing the large resource demand, pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions and health concerns that the livestock industry is responsible for. Precision livestock farming systems allow the continuous automatic monitoring of various physiological, behavioural and phenotypic parameters of animals in order to increase productivity and animal welfare while controlling and minimizing the environmental impact. There is a high potential for digital farming to be the solution for responsibly and ethically feeding the growing and urbanizing population. However, many problems and concerns are still present in this developing industry and remain relatively unaddressed, starting with the ethical aspects in regard to the animal, including its objectification, human-animal relationships and welfare and ending with the societal implications of this digitalization. Concrete frameworks, inter-disciplinary studies and global legislation need to be put in place in order to ensure the safety and protection of the animals, farmer and society. Here, implications of digital farming for the animals, farmers, society and the planet are critically reviewed with the future outlook of digital farms.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201908.0306.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Aquatic Science Keywords: fisheries; fish farming; demersal fish; sea trout; stock collapse; three-mile fishing limit
Online: 29 August 2019 (05:39:29 CEST)
Salmon farming has been blamed for the collapse of the sea trout (Salmo trutta) fishery in Loch Maree on Scotland’s west coast despite the absence of any direct evidence. Stocks of west coast demersal marine fish, especially around the Clyde Estuary have also declined over a similar time span. The decline of these marine fish stocks can be attributed to the removal of the “three-mile fishing limit” in 1984 by UK Government legislation. Sea trout inhabit the same inshore waters as targeted demersal fish and can be caught as by-catch. Comparisons of the decline of demersal species and the sea trout from Loch Maree and the west coast show a high degree of correlation. Stocks of whiting (Merlangius merlangus) from inshore waters have found to consist of small fish which mirrors the stock makeup of the Loch Maree sea trout stock.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201805.0041.v1
Subject: Engineering, Chemical Engineering Keywords: ecological farming system; dynamic numerical simulation; evaporative cooling system; treated wastewater; temperature; humidity
Online: 2 May 2018 (12:56:15 CEST)
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is significantly dependent on desalinated water and groundwater resource, which is expensive and highly energy intensive. Despite the scarce water resource, only 54% of the recycled water was reused in 2015. In this study, an “Oasis” complex comprised of Sustainable Farming Compartments (SFCs) was proposed for reusing treated wastewater to decrease the ambient temperature of the SFC via an evaporative cooling system. A prototype SFC with half the original scale (width = 1.8 m, depth = 1.5 m, front height = 1.2 m back height = 0.9 m) was designed, built, and tested in an environmentally controlled laboratory and field site to evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of the SFC under the climatic conditions in Abu Dhabi. Based on the experimental results, the temperature drops obtained from the SFC in the laboratory and field site were 5 ̊C at initial relative humidity of 60% and 7- 15 ̊C at initial relative humidity of 50%, respectively. An energy simulation using dynamic numerical simulations was performed in comparison to the results of the experiment. The energy-based dynamic simulation shows good agreement with the experimental results. The total power consumption of the SFC system was approximately three and a half times lower than that of an electrical air conditioner.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.1700.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Agricultural Science And Agronomy Keywords: farm animal genetic resources; sustainable livestock farming; local breed conservation; one health; global health
Online: 28 November 2023 (06:58:05 CET)
In the context of globalization One Health enables and concurs to the achievement of Global Health. One Health approach involves wide knowledge and understanding of its critical factors, next to an adequate implementation, also in farm animal sector. Moreover, animal farming and breeding shows particularities depending on country. Therefore, well-defined and specific strategies are still needed to be developed and adapted to the current conditions found in various countries for ensuring a well implementation, thus driving to better and healthier global outcomes and security. This paper will explore the One Health status in Romania, highlighting the current progress registered until now and the future perspectives based on its potential, in the context of the livestock farming framework and challenges. Our findings may help to disclose the challenges of putting in practice One Health in Romania, alongside to the pathways showing potential to enhance sustainability in livestock farming.
Subject: Engineering, Energy And Fuel Technology Keywords: additive manufacturing; agriculture; agrivoltaic; distributed manufacturing; farming; gardening; open hardware; photovoltaic; recycling; solar energy
Online: 27 September 2021 (11:03:32 CEST)
There is an intense need to optimize agrivoltaic systems. This article describes the invention of a new testing system: the parametric open source cold-frame agrivoltaic system (POSCAS). POSCAS is an adapted gardening cold-frame used in cold climates as it acts as a small greenhouse for agricultural production. POSCAS is designed to test partially transparent solar photovoltaic (PV) modules targeting the agrivoltaic market. It can both function as a traditional cold frame, but it can also be automated to function as a full-service greenhouse. The integrated PV module roof can be used to power the controls or it can be attached to a microinverter to produce power. POSCAS can be placed in an experimental array for testing, agricultural and power production. It can be easily adapted for any type of partially transparent PV module. An array of POSCAS systems al-lows for testing agrivoltaic impacts from the percent transparency of the modules by varying the thickness of a thin film PV material or the density of silicon-based cells, and various forms of optical enhancement, anti-reflection coatings and solar light spectral shifting materials in the back sheet. All agrivoltaic variables can be customized to identify ideal PV designs for a given agricultural crop.
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Agricultural Science And Agronomy Keywords: volunteered geographic information; agricultural intensification; sustainability; smart farming; citizen science; SDGs; decision support tool
Online: 24 August 2020 (02:56:48 CEST)
Traditional agricultural extension services rely on extension workers, especially in countries with large agricultural areas. In order to increase adoption of sustainable agriculture, the recommendations given by such services must be adapted to local conditions and be provided in a timely manner. The AgroTutor mobile application was built to provide highly specific and timely agricultural recommendations to farmers across Mexico and complement the work of extension agents. At the same time, AgroTutor provides direct contributions to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, either by advancing their implementation or providing local data systems to measure and monitor specific indicators such as the proportion of agricultural area under productive and sustainable agriculture. The application is freely available and allows farmers to geo-locate and register plots and the crops grown there, using the phone’s in-built GPS, or alternatively, on top of very high-resolution imagery. Once a crop and some basic data such as planting date and cultivar type have been registered, the app provides targeted information such as weather, potential and historical yield, financial benchmarking information, data-driven recommendations as well as commodity price forecasts. Farmers are also encouraged to contribute in-situ information, e.g., soils, management, and yield data. The information can then be used by crop models, which, in turn, would send tailored results back to the farmers. Initial feedback from farmers and extension agents has already improved some of the app’s characteristics. More enhancements are planned for inclusion in the future to increase the app’s function as a decision support tool.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202001.0096.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Veterinary Medicine Keywords: ph sensors; reticulorumen; blood gas; automatic milking system; real-time monitoring; precision livestock farming
Online: 10 January 2020 (10:08:05 CET)
We hypothesized possibility that inline registered reticulorumen pH can be as biomarker of cows reproduction and health status. Aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship of reticulorumen pH with biomarkers from automatic milking system (AMS) and some blood parameters and determinate reticulorumen pH as biomarker of cows reproduction and health status. According to cows reproductive status the cows were classified as belonging to the following four groups: 15-30 d. postpartum; 1-34 d. after insemination; 35 d. after insemination (non-pregnant); 35 d. after insemination (pregnant). According reticulorumen pH assay experimental animals were divided into four classes: 1) pH<6.22 (5.3% of cows), 2) pH - 6.22-6.42 (42.1% of cows), 3) pH - 6.42-6.62 (21.1% of cows), 4) pH >6.62 (10.5% of cows). Rumination time, body weight, milk yield, milk fat – protein ratio, milk lactose, milk somatic cell count (SCC), milk electrical conductivity of all quarters of udder were registered with the help of Lely Astronaut® A3 milking robots. The pH, temperature of the contents of cow reticulorumens and cow activity were measured using specific smaX-tec boluses. Blood gas parameters were analyzed using a blood gas analyzer (EPOC, Canada). We found that pregnant cows has higher reticulorumen pH during insemination time, comparing with non-pregnant. Cows with lower reticulorumen pH has lowest milk fat – protein ratio, and lactose concentration, and highest SCC. Cows with lowest reticulorumen pH has lowest blood pH. With increase reticulorumen pH, increases blood potasium and hematocrit, decreases CO2, saturation and sodium.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201907.0207.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Agricultural Science And Agronomy Keywords: crop intensification; energy balance; North East Hill Region; organic farming; soil health; water productivity
Online: 18 July 2019 (09:06:21 CEST)
Organic farming has positive, impact on environment, soil health, and healthy food quality. Worldwide demand for organic foods is increasing by leaps and bounds in recent years. The present investigation was undertaken during 2014 to 2018 to evaluate the effect of cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) co-culture with maize (Zea mays L.) on productivity enhancement over prevailing maize-fallow system, and to assess the feasibility of inclusion of short duration winter crops after maize with appropriate residue management practices on productivity and soil health. The experiment comprised of six cropping systems in main plot and three soil moisture conservation (SMC) measures options in sub plot. Results indicated that the inclusion of second crop in place of fallow and cowpea co-culture with maize increased average maize grain yield by 6.2 to 23.5% as compared to that of maize-fallow (MF). Use of maize stover mulch (MSM) + weed biomass mulch (WBM) increases maize grain yield by 19.1 and 6.5% over those of MSM and no mulch (NM), respectively. Various soil moisture conservation (SMC) measures had significant (p=0.05) effect on crop yields and water productivity. Double cropping system had significantly (p=0.05) higher amount of soil available NPK, soil organic carbon (SOC), microbial biomass carbon (MBC) and dehydrogenase activity (DHA) at 0-15 cm and at 15-30 cm depth than those under MF. The SWC measures of MSM+WBM had significantly higher available N, SOC, and MBC by 5.5, 4.8 and 8.1% than those under NM, respectively. Correspondingly, soils under MSM and MSM+WBM had 2.24 and 2.99% lower bulk density (ρb) in 0-15 cm and 2.21 and 2.94% lower ρb in 15-30 cm than that of NM. The energy use efficiency (EUE) was significantly higher under MCV (7.90%) over rest of the cropping sequences. MSM+WBM and MSM recorded 25.1 and 16.6% higher net energy over NM, respectively. The net return (INR 159.99×103/ha) and B:C ratio (2.86) were significantly higher with MCV system followed by MCR cropping sequence. MSM+WBM had significantly higher net return (INR 109.44×103/h), B:C ratio (2.46) over those under MSM (INR 97.6×103/h) and NM (INR 78.61×103/h). Overall the cowpea co-culture with maize and inclusion of short cycle winter crops along with MSM+WBM in maize-based cropping systems was found productive in terms of crop and water, profitable, energy efficient and sustained the soil health.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201803.0107.v2
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: fire management; human activities; participation; firewood; charcoal; grazing; water; honey; farming; community forest association
Online: 12 June 2018 (11:20:43 CEST)
This paper proposes an Integrated Fire Management (IFM) framework that can be used to support communities and resource managers in finding effective and efficient approaches to prevent damaging fires, as well as maintain desirable fire regimes in Kenya. Designing and implementing an IFM approach in Kenya calls for a systematic understanding of the various uses of fire and the underlying perceptions and traditional ecological knowledge of the local people. The here proposed IFM framework allows an evaluation of the risks posed by fires, while balancing them with their beneficial ecological and economic effects, and thus developing effective fire management approaches. A case study of the proposed IFM framework was conducted in Gathiuru Forest that is part of the larger Mt. Kenya Forest Ecosystem. Focus group discussions were held with key resource persons, primary and secondary data on socio-economic activities were studied, fire and weather records were analyzed and the current fire management plans were consulted. Questionnaires were used to assess how the IFM is implemented in the Gathiuru Forest Station. The results show that the proposed IFM framework is scalable and can be applied in places with fire-dependent ecosystems as well as in places with fire-sensitive ecosystems in Kenya. The effectiveness is dependent on the active participation, formulation and implementation of the IFM activities by the main stakeholder groups (Kenya Forest Service (KFS), Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), and the Community Forest Associations (CFA)). The proposed IFM framework helps in implementing cost-effective approaches to prevent damaging fires and maintain desirable fire regimes in Kenya.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201802.0006.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Sociology Keywords: climate-smart agriculture; adoption; small-scale irrigation farming; household income; Chinyanja Triangle; Southern Africa
Online: 1 February 2018 (09:33:20 CET)
This article concerns the adoption of small-scale irrigation farming as a climate-smart agriculture practice and its influence on household income in the Chinyanja Triangle. Chinyanja Triangle is a region that experiences mid-season dry spells and an increase in occurrences of drought due to low and erratic rainfall patterns which is attributed largely to climate variability and change. This poses high agricultural production risks, which aggravate poverty and food insecurity. For this region, adoption of small-scale irrigation farming as a climate-smart agriculture practice is very important. Through a binary logistic and ordinary least squares regression, the article determines factors that influence the adoption of small-scale irrigation farming as a climate-smart agriculture practice and its influence on income among smallholder farmers. The results show that off-farm employment, access to irrigation equipment, access to reliable water sources and awareness of water conservation practices, such as rainwater harvesting have a significant influence on the adoption of small-scale irrigation farming. On the other hand, the farmer’s age, distance travelled to the nearest market and nature of employment negatively influenced the adoption of small-scale irrigation farming decisions. Ordinary least squares regression results showed that the adoption of small-scale irrigation farming as a climate-smart agriculture practice has a significant positive influence on agricultural income. We therefore conclude that to empower smallholder farmers to quickly respond to climate variability and change, practices that will enhance adoption of small-scale irrigation farming in the Chinyanja Triangle are critical as this will significantly impact on agricultural income.
TECHNICAL NOTE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.0705.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: Computer Vision; Pixel Segmentation; Deep Learning; Convolutional Neural Network; Precision Livestock Farming; Feeding Behavior Analysis
Online: 11 July 2023 (11:52:38 CEST)
There is a need for cost-effective and non-invasive methods of monitoring feeding behavior in livestock operations, considering the significant impact of feed costs on economic efficiency and assisting in detecting health issues of group-fed animals. This paper proposes using deep learning-based computer vision techniques to detect pen-fed beef cattle feeding behavior using Mask Region-based Convolutional Neural Network (RCNN). A deep learning model was pre-trained on the Common Objects in Context (COCO) dataset to generate cattle instance segmentation. Manually defined feed bunk polygons are compared with these segmentation masks to derive feeding time for each bunk. A full day’s worth of video data and the corresponding physical sensor data are collected for the experiment. By benchmarking the computer vision detected data with physical ground truth over random time segments from morning to evening (thus various lighting conditions), the optimal thresholds for Mask RCNN are determined to be 0.7 for bounding boxes and 0.1 for masks. Using these parameters. The reports suggest that the computer vision system achieved a precision of 87.2% and a recall of 89.1%, signifying precise detection of feeding events. Our study, to the best of our knowledge, was one of the first investigations of instance segmentation on feeding time sense, which combines deep learning methods with traditional computer vision logistics, reporting on feeding time data collection and processing, camera testing and adjustment, and performance evaluation. Future research directions include computer vision applied in feed grading and animal re-identification for individual production analysis.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.1333.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: Cotton gin trash (CGT); Feeding practices; Feed scarcity; Non-Conventional feed resources (NCFR); Sheep farming
Online: 19 June 2023 (09:05:49 CEST)
CGT is composed of fiber residues, leaves, dust particles, soil and others derived during the ginning and yarn spinning process at processing industries,. In the cotton spinning industrial clusters, farmers are using CGT) as one of the alternative roughage feed for their sheep, mainly during forage shortages in the summer months. To have baseline information on farmers using gin and factors driving them to choose CGT as a roughage source, which need to be identified for future planning on the usage of CGT in sheep feeding. Considering the above facts, the present study was undertaken to assess socio-personal characteristics, managemental practices associated with farmers using cotton gin in the feeding of sheep and also identify the factors driving the choice of the CGT as the primary source of roughage in the cotton spinning industry cluster of Tamil Nadu. For this, a survey among 80 sheep farmers was carried out using a pre-tested in-terview schedule. The collected data was analysed using descriptive statistics and logit regres-sion. The results indicated that the majority of male, aged, and large-land farmers were involved in practicing CGT feeding during the summer and also indicated the non-availability of green fodder during the summer season. The coarse type of CGT preferred more than the fine type of CGT trash in that area due to quality perception and price. The replacement level of CGT as roughage ranged from 33 to 75% of the total roughage requirement per day. About 88 percent-age of farmers were highly satisfied with the results of using CGT and they also expressed that the presence of foreign particles and dust were the major problems with using CGT. The choice of CGT as primary roughage among sheep farmers was primarily influenced by selective farming contexts, namely landholding, access to labour, and feeding practices of other livestock with cotton gin. Further, research has to be focused on to improve the quality of CGT in the future, as it is being utilised largely by sheep farmers.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1790.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Agricultural Science And Agronomy Keywords: protected areas; low-intensity farming systems; agri-food products; labelling schemes; sustainable development; literature review
Online: 25 May 2023 (09:57:38 CEST)
European Protected Areas (PAs) are facing today complex and highly diverse challenges. Farm management structures have changed over time and traditional low-intensity farming systems have become unprofitable leading to either abandonment or intensification of farming practices. These changes have contributed to the environmental degradation of biodiversity rich agricultural landscapes and the loss of cultural knowledge and traditions. The interrelations developing at various levels between agricultural land use, nature and landscape conservation, and socio-economic activities influence the sustainable development and management of PAs. The development of certification and labelling schemes for high quality agri-food products with a PA logo is a rural development process that involves multiple functions which could generate environmental improvements and positive socio-economic changes. The differentiation of the agricultural products of PAs, through labelling and information, can be a proactive market-based instrument to support the local economy, promote environmentally sound practices, raise environmental awareness, and preserve farmland biodiversity in protected areas. This paper review is an attempt to gather and analyze in depth the findings of the existing studies focusing on the relationship between the European PAs, farming systems and certification/labelling schemes of agri-food products with a PA logo. Academic research on the subject is limited but provides valuable insights. The findings can serve as a starting point for discussions and reveal opportunities for further research to better understand the interrelations and additional effects emerging from the labelling/certification of PAs’ high quality agri-food products.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0414.v1
Subject: Engineering, Energy And Fuel Technology Keywords: agriculture; agrivoltaic; climate policy; Canada; energy policy; farming; land use; photovoltaic; solar energy; renewable energy
Online: 23 January 2023 (12:16:00 CET)
Canada has committed to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by increasing the non-emitting share of electricity generation to 90% by 2030. As solar energy costs have plummeted, agrivoltaics (co-development of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and agriculture) provide an economic path to these goals. This study quantifies agrivoltaic potential in Canada by province using geographical information system analysis of agricultural areas and numerical simulations. Systems modeled would enable conventional farming of field crops to continue (and potentially increase yield) by using bifacial PV for single-axis tracking and vertical system configurations. Between a quarter (vertical) to more than one third (single axis tracking) of Canada’s electrical energy needs can be provided solely by agrivoltaics using only 1% of current agricultural lands. These results show that agrivoltaics could be a major contributor to sustainable electricity generation and provide the ability for Canada to render the power generation sector net zero/GHG emission free. It is clear that the potential of agrivoltaic-based solar energy production in Canada far outstrips current electric demand and can thus be used to electrify and decarbonize transportation, heating, expand economic opportunities by powering the burgeoning computing sector, and export green electricity to the U.S. to help eliminate their dependence on fossil fuels.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0008.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Agricultural Science And Agronomy Keywords: Sustainable dryland farming; clay soil amendment; soil water use; organic matter; enzyme activity; nutrient turnover
Online: 1 March 2022 (08:27:33 CET)
Degraded soils causing from natural and human affects are universal in arid and semi-arid regions all over the world. Bentonite and humic acid (BHA) are increasingly being tested to remediate these degraded lands with potential benefits on crop production and soil health. The objective of this paper was to determine the residual effects four to five years after a one-time BHA application at six rates on (i) dynamic changes in soil properties, and (ii) oat crop productivity parameters, in a dryland farming ecosystem. With increasing rates of one-time BHA application, soil profile water storage displayed a piecewise linear increase plus plateau, whereas soil electrical conductivity, pH and bulk density were all reduced significantly (P < 0.05) in the 0-20 cm and 20-60 cm layers. The improved soil environments gave rise to an increased activity of soil enzymes urease, invertase and catalase that respectively reached the peak values of 97%, 37% and 32% at the rates of 21 to 24 Mg BHA ha-1. These conversely boosted soil nutrient turnover, leading to a 40% higher soil available P. Compared with the control treatment, application of BHA at the estimated optimum rate (roughly 24 Mg ha-1) increased grain yield by 20%, protein yield by 62%, water use efficiency by 41%, and partial factor productivity of N by 20%. Results of this study showed for the first time that a one-time BHA application would be a new and effective strategy to combat land degradation, drought, and promote a sustainable soil micro-ecological environment in dryland agroecosystem under a varying climate scenario.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0243.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Computer Vision And Graphics Keywords: digital farming; remote sensing; land management; multispectral image processing; land cover mapping; agricultural field boundary
Online: 14 December 2021 (15:01:03 CET)
This paper considered the issue of agricultural fields boundary recognition in satellite images. A novel algorithm based on the aggregated history of vegetation index data obtained via open satellite data, Sentinel-2, was proposed. The proposed algorithm included several basic steps, namely the detection of parcel regions on aggregated index data; the calculation of aggregated edge maps; the segmentation of parcel regions using the edges obtained; the computation of connected components and their contour extraction. In this paper, we showed that the use of aggregated vegetation index data and boundary maps allow for much more accurate agricultural field segmentation compared to the instant vegetation index approach. The quality of segmentation within regions of Russia and the Ukraine was estimated. The dataset that was used and Python implementation of the proposed algorithm were provided.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0758.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: precision agriculture; agriculture 4.0; digital agriculture; smart farming; industry 4.0; sustainability; innovation; bibliometrics; science mapping.
Online: 31 May 2021 (12:01:58 CEST)
: The agriculture sector is one of the backbones of many countries’ economies and its processes have been changing in order to enable technological adoption to increase productivity, quality, and sustainable development. In this research, we present a theoretical reflection through a scientific mapping of the adoption of precision techniques and breakthrough technologies in agriculture, the so-called Precision Agriculture (PA) and Agriculture 4.0 (A4.0). To do this, we used 4,694 documents from the Web of Science database to perform a Bibliometric Performance and Network Analysis (BPNA) of the literature with the support of the PICOC protocol and the SciMAT software. Our findings present 22 strategic themes related to Digital Agriculture (DA) such as Internet of Things (IoT) and Climate-smart Agriculture (CSA) among others, and the thematic network structures of the motor themes and the thematic evolution structure of the field of the study over time. In addition, our results discuss the main challenges and opportunities of DA. Our findings have the potential to provide insights for practitioners and researchers in decision-making and pave the way for future works.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201909.0090.v2
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Agricultural Science And Agronomy Keywords: Fusarium head blight; Fusarium species; soil minerals; ergosterol; mycotoxins; organic farming; sowing value; winter wheat
Online: 9 October 2019 (05:38:12 CEST)
Growing acreage and changing consumer preferences cause increasing interest in the cereal products originating from organic farming. Lack of results of objective test, however, does not allow drawing conclusions about the effects of cultivation in the organic system and comparison to currently preferred conventional system. Field experiment was conducted in organic and conventional fields. Thirty modern cultivars of winter wheat were sown. They were characterized for disease infection including Fusarium head blight, seed sowing value, the amount of DNA of the six species of Fusarium fungi as well as concentration of ergosterol and trichothecenes in grain. The intensity Fusarium head blight was at a similar level in both systems. However, Fusarium colonization of kernels expressed as ergosterol level or DNA concentration was higher for the organic system. It did not reflect in an increased accumulation of trichothecenes in grain, which was similar in both systems, but sowing value of organically produced seeds was lower. Significant differences between analyzed cropping systems and experimental variants were found. The selection of the individual cultivars for organic growing in terms of resistance to diseases and contamination of grain with Fusarium toxins was possible. Effects of organic growing differ significantly from the conventional and grain obtained such way can be recommended to consumers. There are indications for use of particular cultivars bred for conventional agriculture in the case of organic farming, and the growing organic decreases plant stress resulting from intense fertilization and chemical plant protection.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202312.0216.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science And Zoology Keywords: Climate Change; Dairy Farming; Methane Emissions; Sustainable Practices; Animal Welfare; Environmental Legislation; Economic Feasibility; Technological Advancements
Online: 5 December 2023 (04:38:31 CET)
In recent years, the Canadian dairy sector has faced escalating challenges due to its significant contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, particularly methane. This paper critically examines a spectrum of innovative techniques aimed at mitigating methane emissions within this sector, scrutinizing their cost-effectiveness, efficiency, compatibility with animal welfare standards, and adherence to both existing and prospective Canadian environmental legislations. The discourse commences with an exhaustive overview of contemporary methane reduction methodologies pertinent to dairy farming, followed by a rigorous analysis of their economic feasibility. This includes a detailed cost-benefit analysis, juxtaposed with the efficiency and technological advancements these techniques embody. A pivotal aspect of this examination is the alignment of animal welfare with emission reduction objectives, ensuring that strategies employed do not compromise the health and well-being of dairy cattle. Furthermore, the paper delves into the legislative landscape of Canada, evaluating the congruence of these techniques with current environmental laws and anticipating future regulatory shifts. Performance indicators for emission reduction are critically assessed, establishing benchmarks tailored to the Canadian context. This is complemented by an exploration of the market potential of these innovations, including factors influencing their adoption and scalability in the market. The analysis culminates with a synthesis of case studies and best practices within Canada, offering insights into successful implementations and drawing lessons for future endeavors. This comprehensive approach serves not only to address the immediate environmental and health impacts associated with dairy farming emissions but also contributes significantly to the overarching goal of sustainable development in the agricultural sector.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.1395.v1
Subject: Computer Science And Mathematics, Artificial Intelligence And Machine Learning Keywords: Artificial Intelligence; Machine Learning; Soil Nutrients Analysis; Soil Fertility Prediction; smart soil fertility management; smart farming
Online: 21 August 2023 (10:32:32 CEST)
The problem of low soil fertility and limited research in agricultural data driven tools, may lead to low crop productivity which makes it imperative to research in applications of high throughput computational algorithms such as of machine learning (ML) for effective soil analysis and fertility status prediction in order to assist in optimal soil fertility management decision-making activities. However, difficulties in the choice of the key soil properties parameters for use in reliable soil nutrients analysis and fertility prediction. Also, individual ML algorithms setbacks and modelling expert implementation procedures subjectivity, may lead to exploitation of worst fertility level targets and soil fertility status targets classification models performance reported variations. This paper surveys state-of-affair in ML for agricultural soil nutrients analysis and fertility status prediction. Prominent soil properties and widely used classical modelling algorithms and procedures are identified. Empirically exploited fertility status target classes are scrutinized, and reported soil fertility prediction model performances are depicted. The three pass method, with mixed method of qualitative content analysis and qualitative simple descriptive statistics were used in this survey. Observably, the frequently used soil nutrients and chemical properties were organic carbon, phosphorus, potassium, and potential Hydrogen, followed by iron, manganese, copper and zinc. Predominant algorithms included Random Forest, and Naïve Bayes, followed by Support Vector Machine. Model performances varied, with highest accuracy 98.93% and 98.15% achieved by ensemble methods, and the least being 60%. Interdisciplinary ML related researchers may consider using ensemble methods to develop high performance soil fertility status prediction models.