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Title: Computational fluid dynamics applications to improve crop production systems

item BARTZANAS, T - National Center For Scientific Research Demokritos
item KACIRA, M - University Of Arizona
item Zhu, Heping
item KARMAKER, S - University Of Saskatchewan
item TAMIMI, E - University Of Arizona
item KATSOULAS, N - University Of Thessaly
item LEE, I - Seoul National University
item KITTAS, C - National Center For Scientific Research Demokritos

Submitted to: Computers and Electronics in Agriculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/6/2012
Publication Date: 2/15/2013
Citation: Bartzanas, T., Kacira, M., Zhu, H., Karmaker, S., Tamimi, E., Katsoulas, N., Lee, I.B., Kittas, C. 2013. Computational fluid dynamics applications to improve crop production systems. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture. 93:151-167.

Interpretive Summary: Precision farming is a synonymous of innovative agricultural techniques to improve production efficiency and reduce environmental pollution. Computational fluid dynamic (CFD) simulations are an integral part of precision farming systems and offer an effective methodology to assist machinery design and analyze uncontrollable environment parameters and weather conditions. This paper provides an extensive review on current status and capability as well as future improvement of using CFD to increase efficiencies of soil tillage, sprayers, harvesting, machinery, and greenhouses. For example, CFD simulations have advanced the improvement of pesticide sprayer efficiency for crops comprising of many varieties and species. However, future CFD models should accommodate inconsistent canopy structures and weather conditions with sprayer design and operation to demonstrate real-time droplet trajectories. The information from this review will help researchers and designers minimize the complexity of production components in precision farming systems and establish realistic simulations to match the crop production conditions.

Technical Abstract: Computational fluid dynamics (CFD), numerical analysis and simulation tools of fluid flow processes have emerged from the development stage and become nowadays a robust design tool. It is widely used to study various transport phenomena which involve fluid flow, heat and mass transfer, providing detailed information for spatial and temporal distributions of flow speed and direction, pressure, temperature and species concentration. The CFD tools provide a cost-effective way of carrying out equipment and process design and optimisation, and can reduce risk in equipment modification and process scale-up. In recent years, CFD modelling has been gaining attraction from the agri-food industry. The present paper provides a state-of-the-art review on various CFD applications to improve crop farming systems such as, soil tillage, sprayers, harvesting, machinery, and greenhouses. The challenges faced by modellers using CFD in precision crop production are discussed and possibilities for incorporating the CFD models in decision support tools for precision farming are highlighted.