Physical Methods in Agriculture: Approach to Precision and Quality
The frrst attempts to use physical methods in agriculture can be found in nineteenth century as a necessary component of farm and food machinery. There were mechanics, electricity and physical chemistry that were the first physical disciplines used in agriculture and food industry. In the same time period the studies on physical properties of soils started to be one of main topics of soil science. The twentieth century was a century of research on physical properties of agromaterials. The physical properties of agromaterials have been studied e.g. in the USA, where a big role has been played by ASAE (1907), and in the Soviet Union where the special Institute of Agrophysics was founded (1932) by Academician Ioffe. The ASAE’s activity was enlarged in 1960s and 1970s, especially with the role playing by the Mohsenin’s group and its followers. At that time the Institute of Agrophysics of Polish Academy of Sciences was founded in Lublin and conferences on physical methods in agriculture began to be organised. The participants of the last conference – “Physical Methods in Agriculture – Approach to Precision and Quality”, held on August 27-30, 2001, have prepared the basis for this book. Part of the conference participants decided to enlarge their conference papers to be more general and more instructive in relation to further development of the science. New papers prepared under this deciSion were reviewed, discussed and revised, repeatedly, to be presented in this book. We assume that the papers of the book represent the scientific discipline in its wholeness in spite of the fact that not all important problems, methods, and theories are included into this book.
The philosophy hidden behind the book tittle is formulated in the front essay “On precision and quality” by one of us (M.K.). The papers are divided into three groups. The first group entitled “Soil and Allocation Agriculture” contains papers dealing with soil properties on one side and allocation agriculture on the other side. Pagliai (direct methods of studies on soil pore systems) represents the first part of papers as it reviews the basis for more accurate models of soil characteristics. Following authors are dealing with individual soil parameters: Chertkov (theory of soil cracking and hydraulic consequences), Kutilek (statistical distribution of soil physical parameters), Matula (soil tillage and hydraulic properties of soils). The agricultural allocation is studied in relation to solar collectors (M. Libra and V. Poulek), precision farming (RJ. Godwin), and geo-information system (V. Yakushev, D. Kurtener, V. Badenko).
The second group: “Properties and Quality” can be subdivided into two parts. In the first part, papers with experimental and theoretical improvements in product testing were included. Theoretical basis for experimental studies is in papers of J. Blahovec (on stress relaxation in soft agro-products), J. Buchar (eggshell strength), B. Dobrzanski (cracking of legume grains), J. Horabik and M. Molenda (grain behaviour en masse), T. Jelinski, J. Sadowska, and J. Fornal (digital image analysis applied to quality of cereals), and S. Tavman, and P. Yolci (thermal conductivity in granular material – macaroni products). The second part of the second group is a reaction to new perspectives in agriculture, especially in relation to the present development of genetic disciplines. Introduction into these new activities is given in the paper of M. Ondfej. More detailed information on transgenic potato based on cereals are in paper of J. Fornal, W. Blaszczak and S. Grundas.
The third group of papers (“Fruits”) contains the papers related to properties and testing the fruits. The paper ofN. Sakurai represents complex information on fruit structure and chemical composition in relation to texture. J. Baerdemaeker, P.T. Jancsok, and B.E. Verlinden give an overview on fruit texture. Precise studies of specified physical parameters are in the texts on temperature (HJ. Hellebrand” H. Beuche, and M. Linke), and on interactions with electromagnetic rays (B. Dobrzanski and R. Rybczinski for light), (N. Abu-Khalaf and B. Bennedsen for near infrared rays). P. Menesatti, G. Paglia, S. Solaini, and A. Zanella deal with logistic model used for damage description in falling test. V. Van Linden, M. Desmet, P. Darius, J. De Baerdemaeker, and H. Ramon present study on tomato impacts in the handling chain. They used – artificial sphere for registration of the real impacts.
Prague, July, 2002 Jifi Blahovec,
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