Submitted to: Journal of Microwave Power and Electromagnetic Energy
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/1/2003
Publication Date: 11/1/2003
Citation: Kraszewski, A.W., Nelson, S.O. Microwave techniques in agriculture. Journal of Microwave Power and Electromagnetic Energy. 38 (1):13-25, 2003. Interpretive Summary: As farming is one of the most important human activities and it is essential to the survival of the species, all discoveries and inventions made in other branches of science and technology have been tried in agriculture to increase crop production, improve crop quality and to reduce the effort and cost of crop production. In this way, first plows and irrigation systems, then tractors, artificial fertilizers and pesticides were developed, and recently, genetic engineering, satellite sensing for crop prediction and global positioning system for precision farming are being introduced. Electromagnetic radiation, radiowaves including very short waves and microwaves, play an ever increasing role in modern life, it is quite understandable that more and more often they are applied in modern agriculture. In the paper a review of successful applications of microwave techniques in various branches of agriculture is presented. These applications include among many others: tracking migration of destructive insects (locusts), monitoring velocity of grain flow in grain storage facilities, drying and sterilizing delicate fruits (grapes, crushed oranges) to protect the flavor from degradation and extend their shelf life, aging wine and spirits, controlling insects in stored grain, determining moisture content in grains, seeds and nuts before and/or after drying, sorting and grading eggs, etc. The paper is devoted for electrical engineers to rise their interest in application of microwave techniques in branches other than radar and wireless communication.
Technical Abstract: Microwave techniques, methods, and instrumentation can be utilized to increase crop production and improved crop quality. Some examples of successful applications of microwaves in agriculture are presented and future prospects are discussed.