93659 - Precision Farming Machinery

Course Unit Page

SDGs

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

Quality education Responsible consumption and production

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student possesses knowledge on: the choice of technology and operating machines according to the context of application; the management and use of machines and technologies used in precision agriculture; the use of spatial information recorded by the on-board sensors of the machines in order to determine the nature of the spatial variability of the information; the fundamentals of geographic information systems, in combination with global positioning systems, for data acquisition, storage and management, multi-feature data analysis and the characterization of spatial variability, as well as the presentation of results in such a manner that farmers can make well informed decisions. In particular, the student possesses the skills to: organize and conduct scientific analyzes relating to the evaluation of machine processing quality; measure the amounts relating to quality and quantity of agricultural production; recognize the nature of the spatial variability of the measured quantities; manage field collected data and remotely collected data, convert punctual data into spatial data, and analyze georeferenced information relating to environmental and crop characteristics through computerized mapping and spatial database management.

Course contents

Module 1 - Introduction to Precision Agriculture

  1. Scope and Definitions of Precision Agriculture
  2. Overview of Technologies
  3. Historic Perspectives of Precision Agriculture
  4. Applications Around the World

Module 2 - Global Positioning Systems

  1. Global Positioning Overview/How it Works
  2. GNSS Systems Around the World
  3. Factors Influencing GPS Accuracy
  4. GPS Hardware
  5. Levels of Accuracy

Module 3 - Introduction to geostatics

  1. Machine sampling
  2. Semivariogram
  3. Maps interpolation (moving mean, inverse distance, kriging)

    Module 4 - Assisted guidance

    1. Motivations
    2. Components for assisted guidacen system
    3. Types of algorithms for autoguidance systems
    4. Type of assisted guidance
    5. Terrain compensation
    6. Implement guidance

    Module 5 - Yield monitors

    1. Yield Monitor Technology for Grain Combines
    2. Calibration of Yield Monitors

    Module 6 - Yield mapping

    1. Data Cleaning
    2. Displaying Data/Mapping/Legends
    3. Yield Map Interpretation
    4. Yield Stability
    5. Quality Sensors—Protein, Oil, etc.
    6. Errors in yield maps

    Module 7 - Tillage in precision farming

    1. Intercropping
    2. Controlled traffic farming
    3. Strip tillage

    Module 8 - Sowing in precision agriculture

    1. Requirements of machines for precision sowing
    2. Components of machines for precision sowing
    3. Multi-hybrid machines for precision sowing

    Module 9 - Variable rate application

    1. Map and sensor based variable rate application
    2. Section control
    3. Liquid variable rate application
    4. Solid variable rate application
    5. Sprayers

    Module 10 - Telematics

    1. Telematics Technology
    2. CANBUS and ISOBUS technologies
    3. Wireless Network Applications
    4. Telematics Product Comparisons

    Module 1 - Introduction to Precision Agriculture

    1. Scope and Definitions of Precision Agriculture
    2. Overview of Technologies
    3. Historic Perspectives of Precision Agriculture
    4. Applications Around the World

    Module 2 - Global Positioning Systems

    1. Global Positioning Overview/How it Works
    2. GNSS Systems Around the World
    3. Factors Influencing GPS Accuracy
    4. GPS Hardware
    5. Levels of Accuracy

    Module 3 - Introduction to geostatics

    1. Machine sampling
    2. Semivariogram
    3. Maps interpolation (moving mean, inverse distance, kriging)

      Module 4 - Assisted guidance

      1. Motivations
      2. Components for assisted guidacen system
      3. Types of algorithms for autoguidance systems
      4. Type of assisted guidance
      5. Terrain compensation
      6. Implement guidance

      Module 5 - Yield monitors

      1. Yield Monitor Technology for Grain Combines
      2. Calibration of Yield Monitors

      Module 6 - Yield mapping

      1. Data Cleaning
      2. Displaying Data/Mapping/Legends
      3. Yield Map Interpretation
      4. Yield Stability
      5. Quality Sensors—Protein, Oil, etc.
      6. Errors in yield maps

      Module 7 - Tillage in precision farming

      1. Intercropping
      2. Controlled traffic farming
      3. Strip tillage

      Module 8 - Sowing in precision agriculture

      1. Requirements of machines for precision sowing
      2. Components of machines for precision sowing
      3. Multi-hybrid machines for precision sowing

      Module 9 - Variable rate application

      1. Map and sensor based variable rate application
      2. Section control
      3. Liquid variable rate application
      4. Solid variable rate application
      5. Sprayers

      Module 10 - Telematics

      1. Telematics Technology
      2. CANBUS and ISOBUS technologies
      3. Wireless Network Applications
      4. Telematics Product Comparisons

      Readings/Bibliography

      Course material:

      • PDF notes provided by the teacher. To aid class learning process, these notes should be printed before each lecture. These notes will be provided with Virtuale service and they will be accessible to those subscribed to the distribution list.
      • Heege, H. J. (2013). Precision in crop farming: site specific concepts and sensing methods: applications and results. Springer Science & Business Media.
      • Whelan, B., & Taylor, J. (2013). Precision agriculture for grain production systems. Csiro publishing.
      • Grisso, R. et all., (2005). Precision farming tools series. Freely downloadable at Virginia Tech website
      • Shannon, D. K., Clay, D. E., & Kitchen, N. R. (2020). Precision agriculture basics. John Wiley & Sons.
      • Stafford, J. (2019). Precision agriculture for sustainability. Burleigh Dodds Science Publishing Limited.

      Teaching methods

      Lectures in class.

      During the course, seminars will be planned and will be held by experts in the field of precision agriculture.

      Assessment methods

      The course is a module of "Automation of machines, geospatial information and animal housing" together with the course of "Geospatial technologies for agriculture and smart system for animal housing". Consequently, the final assessment will be the average value of the assessment of each course.

      The assessment is based on an oral exam where three questions will be asked. The average duration of the exam is 30 minutes. 

      The online exam confirmation is mandatory. Considering that is a module, the recording Teacher is Prof. Daniele Torreggiani.

      Teaching tools

      Lectures in class, and laboratory of water, energy and soil mechanics.

      Office hours

      See the website of Michele Mattetti