Module Title:Precision Agriculture
Language of Instruction:English
Credits: 5
NFQ Level:7
Module Delivered In 2 programme(s)
Teaching & Learning Strategies: Content will be delivered based around lectures, visits to farms, research centres and machinery dealerships to see precision technologies in action and group discussions and practical sessions. Guest lectures by farmers, researchers and precision agriculture specialists on the selection and use of these technologies will form an integral part of delivery. Special attention will be given to Health and Safety aspects and to where these technologies may develop into the future.
Module Aim: The aim of this module is to provide learners with an insight into the applications of precision agriculture technologies on Irish farms. Students will be introduced to the principles behind, and the operation and maintenance of guidance, autosteer, data collection, variable rate and sensing technologies. Students will also learn how to choose the technologies that best suit a particular situation and how to optimise their use. The module will develop learners’ awareness of the most economical and sustainable means of procuring and operating machinery equipped with these technologies, while also introducing learners to the legal requirements and the health and safety regulations governing their operation.
Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this module the learner should be able to:
LO1 Explain and illustrate how GIS, positioning, guidance, sensing and data collection systems operate on a fundamental level.
LO2 Demonstrate knowledge, understanding and critical awareness of how these precision systems are applied at farm level.
LO3 Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the wide range of precision technologies that apply to both tillage and livestock based enterprises. Students will be expected to critique the suitability of the technologies to different enterprises.
LO4 Explain the various regulations governing the operation and maintenance of precision farm technologies, with special attention to Health and Safety Regulations.
LO5 Illustrate and discuss the potential environmental and economic advantages to using precision technologies as opposed to conventional techniques.
Pre-requisite learning
Module Recommendations

This is prior learning (or a practical skill) that is recommended before enrolment in this module.

No recommendations listed
Incompatible Modules
These are modules which have learning outcomes that are too similar to the learning outcomes of this module.
No incompatible modules listed
Co-requisite Modules
No Co-requisite modules listed
This is prior learning (or a practical skill) that is mandatory before enrolment in this module is allowed.
No requirements listed

Module Content & Assessment

Indicative Content
Precision Technologies
Understanding the precision technologies that are available to Irish Agriculture: Positioning; Machine guidance; Data collection; Sensing. Learners will gain a knowledge of the principles underpinning the operation of each of these systems and an understanding of how they might be applied to agricultural systems
Understanding how precision technologies apply to farm equipment
Understanding how the technologies can be applied at farm level: Machine guidance; (light bars, autosteer, accuracy levels) Farm mapping (weed, disease, yield etc.) Data capture (sensors, cameras, drones etc.); Variable rate technologies (herbicide, fungicide, nutrient management)
Geographic Information Systems
Learners will be introduced to GIS and will be given an understanding of how GIS underpins a number of precision technologies relating to positioning, guidance etc.
Regulations Governing the Use of Precision Farm Equipment
Continuing on from health and safety aspects learned in the agricultural design and mechanisation module; this course will equip learners with the knowledge required to operate these technologies in a safe manner within current legislation
Financial and Environmental Aspects of Precision Technology
• Understanding the true costs of procurement, maintenance and operation of precision technologies • Costing of agricultural contractor services against ownership • Depreciation of machinery • Environmental sustainability impact of sensing/variable rate technologies
Assessment Breakdown%
Continuous Assessment70.00%
End of Module Formal Examination30.00%
Continuous Assessment
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Assessment Date
Case Studies Case Study: Learners will be required to conduct relevant case studies in operation of precision technologies at farm level. An environmental and economic appraisal will be conducted to compare the use of these technologies with conventional techniques 2,3,4,5 35.00 n/a
Project Project on the current uses, and future potential of sensing technologies in agricultural systems 1,2,3,4,5 25.00 n/a
Short Answer Questions Assessing knowledge of fundamentals of precision systems, applications of precision agriculture and health and safety regulations. 1,2,3,4 10.00 n/a
No Project
No Practical
End of Module Formal Examination
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Assessment Date
Formal Exam Terminal Examination 1,2,3,4,5 30.00 End-of-Semester

SETU Carlow Campus reserves the right to alter the nature and timings of assessment


Module Workload

Workload: Full Time
Workload Type Frequency Average Weekly Learner Workload
Lecture 12 Weeks per Stage 2.00
Practicals 12 Weeks per Stage 1.00
Independent Learning 12 Weeks per Stage 3.00
Total Hours 72.00

Module Delivered In

Programme Code Programme Semester Delivery
CW_EFARG_B Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Agricultural Systems Engineering 5 Mandatory
CW_EFARG_D Bachelor of Engineering in Agricultural Systems Engineering 5 Mandatory