Overview of topics for the AgEng2018 conference

Overarching theme: New engineering concepts for a valued agriculture

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1: Design methods for integrated and sustainable farming systems (FS)

Theoretical concepts and methodological approaches to design novel concepts of farming systems (crops and greenhouses, animals, insects, algae, seaweed etc. and combinations thereof) that improve the performance on multiple aspects of sustainability. Examples are conservation agriculture, integrated pest management, tests and integrated assessment of concepts of farming systems, supply chain and market aspects.


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2: New farming management systems (FM)

Ideas, designs of concepts and proofs of principle of new farm information and data management systems to enhance sustainability and profitability of farming. Examples are integration of multiple technologies in management and farming systems (big data, data hubs, standards), Internet of Things applications, data-based and model-based decision support.


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3: Co-production and implementation of technology in food production systems (FP)

Experiences and research into systems addressing the human aspects for farmers, workers, consumers and society involved in the development, implementation and use of new technology and systems in food production and processing. Examples include acceptance/rejection, safety and risk and management thereof, responsible development and democratization.


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4: Robotics and sensor technology (RM)

Research and development of mechatronic and (semi-autonomous) robotic systems and machine vision for agricultural applications, from breeding and seeding to monitoring in primary production and post-harvest processing. Contributions may include sensing technology such as 3D vision, hyperspectral imaging, spectroscopy, acoustics, use of satellites and drones, classification techniques including use of artificial intelligence for e.g. phenotyping and 3D reconstruction of plants, animals and environment.


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5: Energy and greenhouse gas emissions (EG)

Reduction of environmental impact of operations in food and biomass production and processing by reducing energy demand, energy storage technologies, and new non-fossil energy sources. Examples are new implements and tractors including smart control, integration of energy from wind, bio-refinery and wastes, and reduction of emissions.


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6: Soil, land and water engineering (SW)

Technology and systems for management of water and nutrients in soil, soil quality and rural planning. Contributions can address irrigation and drainage, logistics of equipment in the field, losses and emissions, soil compaction and carbon sequestration.


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7: Animal production technologies (AP)

Research and application of technology and management of systems to control indoor air quality and thermal comfort in barns, improve welfare and health of animals, reduce emissions and their impacts. Examples include precision livestock farming, CFD and ventilation systems, emissions of particulate matter and gases (e.g. ammonia, greenhouse gases, odour), and control of pest and diseases.


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8: Plant production technologies (PP)

Technology and management systems to control weeds, diseases and pest in crops, and equipment for seeding, maintenance and harvest. Contributions may include automation and autonomous systems, precision farming / agriculture, integrated pest management, precision spraying, geo-information systems, and related applications of drones.


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9: Greenhouse production technologies (GP)

Technology and management systems for greenhouse production systems. Contributions may include greenhouse structures, covering materials, climate and energy systems, design of ventilation and CFD applications, automation and decision support systems for greenhouse climate, crop, water and nutrient management, as well as pest and disease detection and control.


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10: Post-harvest technologies (PH)

Technology and management systems to monitor and control the quality of products, and for sorting, food processing, packaging and storage. Contributions can address nutrition, flavour and shelf life, and include various types of sensors, actuators, packaging materials and controlled-atmosphere techniques.


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11: Nutrient management and waste treatment (NM)

Research and application of technology and systems to manage and recycle organic wastes in plant and animal production systems. Contributions may include organic matter and nutrient management on arable farms (e.g. with cover crops) and on animal farms (e.g. processing of animal manure) and include emissions and other nutrient losses.