Mechanization of agricultural processes

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
Learning objectives
To learn the technical-economic concepts and criteria underlying the selection of farm plants and machinery. To know how to apply the methodologies for designing optimal mechanization chains suited to the production and logistics needs of the farm.
To provide the knowledge of the technological aspects and learn the operative characteristics of the precision farming systems in mechanized operations.
Expected learning outcomes
Ability to design suitable farm mechanization systems by using technical-economic optimization criteria.
Ability to select the new technologies for precision farming systems and to evaluate their functional advantages and limitations.
To recognize and evaluate the functionalities of the different components of farm information systems; to critically use the positioning, sensing and automation systems adopted for farm operations.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Contents and teching material - The course contents and reference material remain unchanged.
Teaching methods - Lectures will mostly be held in remote on MS-Teams. The lectures recordings will be available to students (links in Ariel). Additionally, there will be some classroom meetings in attendance for introduction and discussions of course topics. The attendance must be booked through the app LezioniUnimi.

Exams - The exam remains unchanged except for being held in remote ( and MS-Teams plataforms). Specific instructions are available at Ariel web page of the course.
Course syllabus
Unit - Farm mechanization

Farm mechanization fundamentals
Operating time and field capacity. Crop technique and workability periods.
Selecting farm machinery
Criteria for operational choice. Utilization indices. Timeliness and workable area. Work width and power demand. Sizing of mechanization and transportation chains
Selecting farm tractors
Sizing according to the coupled equipment and operational selection of tractors. Farm power load
Mechanization costs
Assessing the operating costs of agricultural machinery. Fixed and variable costs; operating costs for the farm. Analysis of technical alternatives. Owning equipment or contractors
Main farm plants
Drying of products: the process, load estimation, dimensioning and consumption estimation, plant types and criteria of choice. Refrigeration of products: refrigeration cycle, plant components, dimensioning and consumption estimation

Unit - Advanced technologies for agriculture

The farm information systems and principles of management computer science.
The Precision Agriculture. Definitions and importance of the agricultural mechanization.
The GNSS satellite positioning systems: description, operation principles, the GNSS receivers' performance, the techniques for the differential correction (real-time and post processing). The systems for the real-time differential correction transmission. The public (SBAS) and the private constellations providing the differential correction. Critical use of GNSS systems in Precision Agriculture.
The assisted guidance systems and the automatic guidance systems for agricultural machines. Operation principles, performance analysis and selection criteria as a function of the requested positioning accuracy.
The yield mapping: operation principles, the sensors used, creation of yield maps and examples related to the main crops.
Compatibility in the interchange of data between agricultural machines (tractors and operating machines) and description of main communication protocols (CANbus e ISObus).
The Variable Rate Technology. The machines, the sensors and actuators used, the operation logic of VRT systems.
Prerequisites for admission
Knowledge of the production processes in agriculture and of the main farm machinery
Teaching methods
Lectures will be integrated with several numerical examples of application to field examples, and with some computer simulations and technical visits
Teaching Resources
The study material and references to additional documentation is available at the course webpage:
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam has a written part consisting of technical-quantitative applications of the theoretical concepts and an oral part.
The final grade will consider: the level of knowledge demonstrated, the property of communication and the ability to link the topics with other disciplines
Meccanizzazione aziendale
Lessons: 32 hours
Professor: Oberti Roberto
Tecnologie avanzate per l'agricoltura
Practicals: 16 hours
Lessons: 24 hours
Professor: Calcante Aldo
By appointment only
Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences - Agricultural Engineering area
make an appointment
via Celoria 2 - Building 10: Ingegneria Agraria