93666 - Smart Farm Management

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Docente: Davide Viaggi
  • Credits: 6
  • SSD: AGR/01
  • Language: Italian
  • Moduli: Davide Viaggi (Modulo 1) Antonella Samoggia (Modulo 2)
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures (Modulo 1) Traditional lectures (Modulo 2)
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Precise and Sustainable Agriculture (cod. 5705)

Learning outcomes

At course completion, the student possesses knowledge on: economic and financial management of the agricultural company; management models based on digital technologies; evaluation of investments and economic impacts from the introduction of innovative production processes in the company’s system. In particular, the student possesses the skills to: organize the company using digital production and management control tools; relate the company to external information and monitoring systems such as those relating to traceability along the supply chain and those for policy management: managing information, organizational and training aspects related to innovation procedures; measure the economic performance indicators of innovative production procedures based on the use of digital technologies; recognize the strategic and organizational dimension of business activities and relations with the environment and the competitive system.

Course contents

Module 1 (Prof. Davide Viaggi)

  • Part 1. - Introduction: costs and benefits of digital innovation and why to measure (4 hours): identification of different typologies of costs and benefits of digital innovation and relation with management dimensions;
  • Part 2 - 2. Methods to supporto decision making on innovation adoption (10 hours): illustration of methods usable to evaluate the adoption of a digital innovation depending on the decisions making problem; main issues/methods considered: Classification of costs and benefits; Gross margin; Investment analysis; Break even point; Impact indicators
  • Part 3. Classes with application of the methods to cases studies agreed with students (12): for each of the methods addressed in part 2, two levels of applications will be performed: a) simple calculation using excel sheets; b) application to a real life case or to individual/group cases depending on access of students to original data.
  • Part 4. Thematic seminars (4 hours)


Module 2 (Prof.ssa Antonella Samoggia)

  • Part 1 - Key concepts in farm economics and management: this part addresses the nature and purpose of a farm business, what a farm business seeks to achieve, how it is managed, definition of performance, performance among the different operations, types of costs, cost efficiency and the use of resources, costs and break-even point, economies of scale;
  • Part 2 - Economics and management of digitalized agricultural production systems and value chains: this part addresses the intra- and inter-organizational management issues along the agro-food chain from a corporate and trade perspective, vertical coordination for farm and other agro-food businesses, management issues in the adoption, uses and adaptation of digital technologies on farm, farmer skills and farm work, networks and agricultural advisory services, agro-food chain power, ICT solutions to smart manage the companies with an upstream and downstream perspective, digitalization knowledge and innovation systems in agriculture;
  • Part 3 - Budgeting and balance sheet: this part addresses the planning and budgeting practices, examines how management accounting serves the needs of short- and long-term decision making.
  • Thematic seminars: 4 hours


Module 1

Farm Management by R.D. Kay, W.M. Edwards, P.A. Duffy, Mc Graw Hill, 8th Edition

chapter 17 or any source on investment analysis)

Module 2

Farm Management by R.D. Kay, W.M. Edwards, P.A. Duffy, Mc Graw Hill, 8th Edition

CHAPTERS: 4 (Balance sheet and its analysis), 5 (Income statement and its analysis).

Managerial Accounting, 17e by Garrison, Noreen, Brewer

CHAPTERS: 1, 5, 8, 13, 13A

McGraw-Hill Education; 17 edition (3 Mar. 2020)

Slides, handount and articles suggested by the teachers

Teaching methods

The course is in English and it is carried out in the class. During the lecture the teacher will provide case studies. Students will be asked to carry out a presentation as output of peers' research group activities on topics to be agreed with the Professor. In addition, the methods studied will applied individually or in groups using excel

Assessment methods

The assessment foresees a final oral or written examination in English. The final examination will focus on four questions to cover the whole programme developed during the lectures. The assessment will take into consideration the competences and the skills developed by the students, the appropriateness of the language used during the oral examination, and the ability to discuss the possible interactions among the different issues developed during the course. The oral examination will include discussion of practical work and presentations. Presentation will be peer-reviewed by other students.

Teaching tools

Slides, Articles, external experts/speakers, discussion, presentation by students.

Office hours

See the website of Davide Viaggi

See the website of Antonella Samoggia


Zero hunger Decent work and economic growth Industry, innovation and infrastructure Responsible consumption and production

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.