Academic Year 2022/2023 - Teacher: Giuseppe Ezio MANETTO

Expected Learning Outcomes

The course aims to provide the disciplinary and professionalizing skills for the application in the field of the concept of "Variable Rate Agriculture" and "Precision Farming" in its different meanings. We will therefore analyze the technologies that allow us to implement it in practice. The concepts of automatic control will be introduced and the devices that allow the realization (sensors, controllers and actuators) will be illustrated. Small-scale energy production from biomass and other renewable sources will also be provided.

Course Structure

Lectures (28 ore) with the aid of slides and exercises (28 hours) consisting of analyses of practical applications, seminars and visits to local farms.

If the teaching will be carried out in mixed or on line mode, the necessary changes may be introduced with respect to the previous statements in order to comply with the program planned and reported in the syllabus.

The exam will be carried out online only if health 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.

Required Prerequisites


Attendance of Lessons

The attendance of the course is not compulsory, but is strongly recommended in consideration of the transversality of the topics covered.

Detailed Course Content

Definition of terms "Precision Farming" and "Variable Rate Agriculture". Tools for data collection about field conditions and for decision making. Introduction to automatic control. Sensors, controllers and actuators. Automation of agricultural machinery and of some farming operations. Introduction to some elements of cartography. Introduction to GNSS satellite systems: GPS, DGPS, RTK-DGPS; technique to improve accuracy based on SBAS and GBAS. Robotics applied to agriculture. Mechatronics. Use of autonomous aircraft (UAV) in agriculture. Optimization of resources, re-use of biomass, brief notes on bioreactors for the production of small-scale energy. Types of systems, sensors, actuators with their working principle, control systems of the functional parameters of the bio-process. Construction features, components, facilities and equipment related to plant for bio-energy production. Some brief notes on other kind of renewable energy.

Textbook Information

The lecturer provides on Studium all the slides used to explain the arguments of the course, in order to provide a guide for the individual study. The following reference books are also suggested, although students are free to consult any other book about the same topics:

1. Casa R. – Agricoltura di precisione. Metodi e tecnologie per migliorare l'efficienza e la sostenibilità dei sistemi colturali – Edagricole - Edizioni Agricole di New Business Media srl. Milano. (ISBN 978-88-506-5510-6).

2. Misturini R. – Precision farming. Strumenti e tecnologie per un'agricoltura evoluta – Edagricole - Edizioni Agricole di New Business Media srl. Milano. (ISBN 978-88-506-5587-8).

3. Basso B., Sartori L., Bertocco M. – Agricoltura di precisione. Concetti teorici e applicazioni pratiche – Edizioni L'Informatore Agrario SpA. Verona. (ISBN 978-88-7220-229-9).

4. Bertocco M. – Agricoltura di precisione. Guida pratica all’introduzione in azienda – Edizioni L'Informatore Agrario SpA. Verona. (ISBN 978-88-7220-283-8).

5. Zhang Q, Pierce F.J. – Agricultural Automation: Fundamentals and Practices – CRC Press - Taylor & Francis Group. Boca Ratom, FL. (ISBN 978-1-4398-8057-9).

6. Prassler E., Zöllner M., Bischoff R., Burgard W., Haschke R., Hägele M., Lawitzky G., Nebel B., Plöger P., Reiser U. – Towards Service Robots for Everyday Environments – Springer. (ISBN 978-3-642-25116-0).

7. Rodríguez N. – Advanced Mechanics in Robotic Systems – Springer. (ISBN 978-0-85729-588-0).

8. Bocci E., Caffarelli A., Villarini M., D'Amato A. – Sistemi a biomasse: progettazione e valutazione economica. Impianti di generazione di calore ed elettricità – Maggioli Editore. Rimini (ISBN 978-88-3875-969-7).

9. Lecture notes.

Learning Assessment

Learning Assessment Procedures

Oral examination on the whole program.

The exam dates can be found on the website of the Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment to the link:

The exam will be carried out online only if health conditions require it.

The evaluation will take into account the relevance and quality of the answer to the questions asked, as well as the technical language properties demonstrated, the ability to reason and link the transversal knowledge acquired through the various parts of the program.

Examples of frequently asked questions and / or exercises

Description of the components and principle of operation of a thermoregulation system for the production of biomethane.
Block diagram of an anaerobic digestion plant.
Principle of operation of a Global Navigation Satellite System.