Agriculture 4.0 offers innovative solutions to make production environmentally, economically and socially viable but in many countries the successful implementation of many of these technologies is still a challenge


5 reasons to attend this course

Understand common principles and technical implementation requirements for sensors.
Acquire skills in sensor data processing and how to integrate derived information into farm management information systems.
Get an overview of the role of sensors in PA.
Learn the criteria for choosing appropriate technology and strategies under different conditions.
Gain first-hand experience on current sensor system technology successfully implemented for different purposes and situations.
Learn to use PA tools through demonstrations and technical visits.
Network with professionals from other countries and share knowledge on PA farm management.


Jaume Arnó, Univ. Lleida (Spain)
Chandra Shekhar Biradar, ICARDA, Cairo (Egypt)
Sofia Cilla, ESSP SAS, Madrid (Spain)
Álex Escolà, Univ. Lleida (Spain)
Spyros Fountas, Agricultural Univ. Athens (Greece)
Robin Gebbers, Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering Potsdam-Bornim (Germany)
Gilbert Grenier, Bordeaux Sciences Agro, Gradignan (France)
Shawn Carliste Kefauver, Univ. Barcelona (Spain)
José Antonio Martínez-Casasnovas, Univ. Lleida (Spain)
Søren Marcus Pedersen, Univ. Copenhagen (Denmark)
Bruno Tisseyre, Montpellier SupAgro (France)

Applied approach (lectures, technical visit, practical work & debate)

Leading international experts

Course given in English, Spanish and French with interpretation


  • 1. Introduction to precision agriculture (PA)
    • 1.1. What is PA?
      • 1.1.1. Spatial and temporal variability
      • 1.1.2. Tryptic measure/decision/action
      • 1.1.3. Applications: vegetable crops, tree crops, arable crops, viticulture
    • 1.2. Needs and opportunities induced by PA
      • 1.2.1. Sampling strategies and data acquisition
      • 1.2.2. Data analysis and decision making
      • 1.2.3. Variable rate technology (VRT)
      • 1.2.4. Reporting, traceability and farmer feed-back
      • 1.2.5. Implementation of PA with low cost technology
  • 2. Introduction to sensors
    • 2.1. Basics of metrology (accuracy, precision, resolution, error, etc.)
    • 2.2. Types of signals
      • 2.2.1. Analog and digital (binary, digitized, frequency)
      • 2.2.2. Multiplexing and bus communication (USB, ISOBUS, Ethernet, etc.)
    • 2.3. Data acquisition and communication
      • 2.3.1. Digitation
      • 2.3.2. Acquisition systems
      • 2.3.3. Calibration
      • 2.3.4. Wireless sensor networks
    • 2.4. Sensor system classification
      • 2.4.1. According to the measuring principle
      • 2.4.2. According to the variable measured
      • 2.4.3. According to the distance to the target (in contact, proximal, airborne, spaceborne)
      • 2.4.4. According to the object to be sensed
  • 3. Global navigation satellite systems
    • 3.1. Working principle and errors
    • 3.2. Current systems (GPS, Galileo, Glonass, Beidou)
    • 3.3. Augmentation systems (satellite- and ground-based systems)
    • 3.4. Receivers and accuracy (characteristics and specifications)
    • 3.5. Applications in agriculture
  • 4. Sensors for PA
    • 4.1. Crop sensing
      • 4.1.1. Canopy and biomass characterization
      • 4.1.2. Vigour sensing
      • 4.1.3. Flower and fruit monitoring
      • 4.1.4. Health sensing (pest and diseases monitoring)
      • 4.1.5. Weed detection and classification
      • 4.1.6. Water status
      • 4.1.7. Yield monitoring
    • 4.2. Soil sensing
      • 4.2.1. Soil moisture
      • 4.2.2. Salinity
      • 4.2.3. Soil texture
      • 4.2.4. Compaction
      • 4.2.5. Nutrients
      • 4.2.6. Organic matter
      • 4.2.7. pH
      • 4.2.8. Soil biological activity
    • 4.3. Other sensors
      • 4.3.1. Microclimate sensors (rainfall, temperature, humidity, leaf wetness, etc.)
      • 4.3.2. Machinery sensor (fuel consumption, draft forces, seeding condition, traceability, etc.)
  • 5. Sensor data processing: from sensor data to piece of information
    • 5.1. Data post-processing and tools
      • 5.1.1. Data preparation (filtering)
      • 5.1.2. Mapping (interpolation, clustering)
      • 5.1.3. Correlation between maps/variables
      • 5.1.4. Decision making
      • 5.1.5. Delineation of management zones and application map creation
    • 5.2. Real-time data processing
  • 6. Integration of sensor information in the global farm management
    • 6.1. Farm management information system
    • 6.2. Data interchange
    • 6.3. Variable rate machinery
      • 6.3.1. VRT systems
      • 6.3.2. ISOBUS
  • 7. Digital augmentation for sustainable agroecosystems
    • 7.1. Agronomic uses of remote sensing/sensors in small farms
    • 7.2. Some case studies in dryland agroecosystems
  • 8. Adoption and economic issues
    • 8.1. Cost-benefit analysis based on case studies
    • 8.2. Adoption strategies
  • 9. Practical work
    • 9.1. Global navigation satellite systems
    • 9.2. Use of sensors
    • 9.3. Data processing
  • 10. Round table discussion: Precision agriculture adoption in Mediterranean countries for small and medium farms
  • 11. Technical visit (Saturday)

Train at an outstanding international institution


For participation in the full course programme lectures and practicals, candidates can apply online at the following address:

The course is targeted to public and private decision makers and managers, producers, technical advisors and R&D professionals of the crop production sector. Likewise, the course is also open to ICT experts interested in applications for sustainable crop production.

The course will be held at IAMZ-CIHEAM in Zaragoza from 3 to 8 February 2020.
Application deadlines:

  • 12 November 2019 - if you need a visa or intend to apply for a grant to attend the course. The deadline will be extended for candidates not applying for a grant and not requiring a visa while places are available.

Registration fees for the course amount to 500 euro. This sum covers tuition fees only.
Candidates from Mediterranean CIHEAM member countries and from ICARDA Middle East and North Africa (MENA) partners may apply for scholarships covering registration fees and for scholarships covering the cost of travel and full board accommodation.
Candidates from other countries who require financial support should apply directly to other national or international institutions.

It is compulsory for participants to have medical insurance valid for Spain. Proof of insurance cover must be given at the beginning of the course. Those who so wish may participate in a collective insurance policy taken out by the Organisation, upon payment of the stipulated sum.

Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Zaragoza

Av. MontaƱana 1005, 50059 Zaragoza, Spain

+34 976716000

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