The application of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) in the agricultural industry is becoming ever more important. Over the years, the versatility, accuracy and user-friendliness offered by CFD has led to its increased take-up by the agricultural engineering community. Now CFD is regularly employed to solve environmental problems of greenhouses and animal production facilities. However, due to a combination of increased computer efficacy and advanced numerical techniques, the realism of these simulations has only been enhanced in recent years. This study provides a state-of-the-art review of CFD, its current applications in the design of ventilation systems for agricultural production systems, and the outstanding challenging issues that confront CFD modellers. The current status of greenhouse CFD modelling was found to be at a higher standard than that of animal housing, owing to the incorporation of user-defined routines that simulate crop biological responses as a function of local environmental conditions. Nevertheless, the most recent animal housing simulations have addressed this issue and in turn have become more physically realistic.