79464 - Information And Dss In Fruit Production

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Luisa Petti

  • Credits 3

  • SSD AGR/09

  • Language English

  • Campus of Bologna

  • Degree Programme Second cycle degree programme (LM) in International Horticultural Science (cod. 8883)

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The course aims to introduce the student to issues of decision-making processes of the agro-environment enterprises, mainly focusing on the requirements of farms oriented to fruit productions. Theoretical and practical aspects of the use of Farm Information Systems (FIS) and interactions between information technologies and farm mechanisation components will be presented and discussed in an integrated way. Relevant emphasis will be given to the designing, implementation and use of farm databases, particularly in view of their integration with GIS tools.

Course contents

The course will cover the following topics:

    • The ICT’s frontier in the context of agro-environmental and horticulture farming systems, between the emerging needs of precision farming and information management.
    • The new requirements of the full fruit supply chain for traceability, reporting of processes and activities, automation in field process controls, site-specific farm management. The importance of automating data-logging and farm monitoring; types of monitoring and surveys classifications (environmental, crop and operational).
    • Their general classifications in view of their use within the horticultural contexts.
    • Basic electronic devices: sensors, actuators, and identification systems; stand-alone and integrated applications in horticulture farming systems.
    • Positioning systems.
    • Computing hardware solutions.
    • Computing software solutions.
    • GIS and cartography.
    • Crop monitoring: optical and electrical sensors with particular emphasis on the practical application of sensor nodes for decision making support on site.


  • E.C. Oerke, R. Gerhards, G. Menz (2010). Precision Crop Protection - the Challenge and Use of Heterogeneity. Springer, London - New York, pp.441.
  • M. A. Oliver Springer (2010). Geostatistical Applications for Precision Agriculture. Springer, London - New York, pp.331.
  • T.A. Brase (2006). Precision agriculture. Thomson Delmar Learning, pp.224.
  • B. Hofmann-Wellenhof, H. Lichtenegger, and J. Collins, (2001). GPS Theory and Practice, Springer-Verlag, Wien, pp.370.

Teaching methods

The course consists of lectures (18 hours frontal lessons) during which the lecturer presents the topics. Practical lessons and laboratory activities (12 hours laboratory) conducted by the lecturer and the teaching assistant are planned as well, to show crop monitoring applications.

Assessment methods

Assessment (at the end of the course) is conducted via oral examination that includes:

  1. questions to assess the knowledge and understanding of the course topics
  2. questions designed to assess the ability to transfer these skills to case studies of crop production, and
  3. ability to manage the experiences carried out in the laboratory.

Attribution of a single final mark awarded based on the following criteria: the clarity of the response, the ability to summarize, evaluate, and establish relationships between topics, the independence of judgment, the ability to rework.

Teaching tools

Course topics will be presented using Power Point presentations, which will be made available to the students before each lecture.

Office hours

See the website of Luisa Petti