Academic Year 2021/2022 - 3° Year - Curriculum TECNOLOGIE PER L'AGRICOLTURA DI PRECISIONE
Teaching Staff: Daniela Vanella
Credit Value: 6
Scientific field: AGR/08 - Agricultural hydraulics and watershed protection
Course Language: Italian
Taught classes: 28 hours
Exercise: 28 hours
Term / Semester:

Learning Objectives

The main aim of the course is to provide innovative tools and methods for the sustainable management of water resources in the agricultural context. During the lessons, topics related to hydrology (surface and underground), mass and energy exchanges within the soil-plant-atmosphere (SPA) system, water resource management techniques for water saving purposes, including deficit irrigation strategies, will be presented. In addition, the potential use of non-conventional resources in agriculture (including urban wastewater) and natural treatment systems (constructed wetlands) for recovering and enhancing wastewater and compounds contained in them will be proposed. The techniques for monitoring the plant and soil water status through remote/proximal sensing and minimally invasive methods will be studied.

Course Structure

The course will be delivered by lectures (in class or remote, 28 h) and training sessions (28 h) using specific software in class or remote mode (e.g. Excel and Qgis), and if feasible with technical field visits. If teaching is given in a mixed formula or remotely, necessary changes may be introduced to what was previously stated in order to comply with the current Syllabus. Learning assessment may also be carried out on line, should the conditions require it.

As a guarantee of equal opportunities and in compliance with current laws, interested students can ask for a personal interview in order to plan any compensatory and/or dispensatory measures, based on their specific needs and on teaching objectives of the discipline. It is also possible to ask the departmental contacts of CInAP (Center for Active and Participatory Integration - Services for Disabilities and/or DSAs), in the persons of professors Giovanna Tropea Garzia and Anna De Angelis.

Detailed Course Content

Main topics of the course:

1. Introduction to the analysis and assessment of the sustainability of water resources management: integrated management of water resources, adaptive water management, the link between water, energy and food;

2. Basic principles of hydrology (surface water and groundwater) and soil hydrology, mass and energy transfer fluxes within the soil-plant-atmosphere system, evapotranspiration measurement and estimation methods;

3. Introduction to water saving techniques and methods: drip irrigation, deficit irrigation strategies and use of reclaimed water treated with nature-based solutions;

4. Introduction to techniques for monitoring the agro-ecosystems water status: remote sensing and proximal sensing techniques for the characterization of the vegetative vigor, the estimation of crop water requirements and irrigated areas, interpolation methods for the analysis and modeling of spatial and temporal variability of properties relevant for precision irrigation, minimally invasive techniques for soil moisture detection (such as electrical resistivity tomography);

5. Precision irrigation: principles and application. Interpretation of site-specific variability, precision irrigation strategies and systems, technological and experimental perspectives.

Textbook Information

  1. Elementi di idraulica e idrologia per le scienze agrarie, ambientali e forestali. Ferro V. Milano : McGraw-Hill, 2013;
  2. L'acqua in agricoltura: gestione sostenibile della pratica irrigua. A cura di Marcello Mastrorilli, Milano: Edagricole, 2015;
  3. Agricoltura di precisione: metodi e tecnologie per migliorare l'efficienza e la sostenibilità dei sistemi colturali. A cura di Raffaele Casa, Milano: Edagricole, 2016;
  4. Advanced Remote Sensing Terrestrial Information Extraction and Applications, Editors: Shunlin Liang, Jindi Wang, Academic Press, 2020;
  5. Handbook of Agricultural Geophysics. Allred, B., Daniels, J. J., & Ehsani, M. R. (Eds.). (2008), CRC Press.;
  6. Lecture Notes distributed during the course.