Module Details

Module Code: n/a
Full Title: Digital Agriculture
Valid From:: Semester 2 - 2023/24 ( January 2024 )
Language of Instruction:English
Duration: 1 Semester
Credits:: 5
Module Owner:: Simone McCabe
Departments: Agriculture, Food and Animal Health
Module Description: This interactive module addresses the highly evolving area of precision livestock management and grass and crop production within sustainable agriculture. It focuses on innovations in ruminant and monogastric production, along with the potential for data analysis and technologies to assist grass and crop production, and the current limitations of these technologies.
Module Learning Outcome
On successful completion of this module the learner will be able to:
# Module Learning Outcome Description
MLO1 Appraise the main concepts and data use associated with precision livestock and crop management.
MLO2 Evaluate the role of digital technologies in marketing livestock and livestock produce, food safety and traceability and animal health and management.
MLO3 Examine the technologies which can impact and/or monitor the productivity, profitability and environmental sustainability of crop and grass production systems.
MLO4 Compare and contrast current and emerging technologies in livestock and forage production systems and critically evaluate the evolution of technology, software and electronic tools within the Irish Agricultural sector.
Pre-requisite learning
Module Recommendations
This is prior learning (or a practical skill) that is strongly recommended before enrolment in this module. You may enrol in this module if you have not acquired the recommended learning but you will have considerable difficulty in passing (i.e. achieving the learning outcomes of) the module. While the prior learning is expressed as named DkIT module(s) it also allows for learning (in another module or modules) which is equivalent to the learning specified in the named module(s).
72094   Digital Agriculture
Module Indicative Content
Livestock Production Systems and monitoring emissions
Overview of key intensive and extensive production systems - beef, sheep, dairy, pigs, poultry; Introduction to precision livestock management and associated management decisions; Market and consumer demands. Modeling of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Livestock.
Overview of crop production systems
Soil preparation, plant nutrition, plant protection, climatic impacts on plant growth and fieldwork, harvesting and crop quality, seed and grain markets
Wearable technologies and data generation
Activity monitors - reproduction and health monitoring, feed efficiency and grazing behaviour; RFID and electronic tagging; methane neutralizing headcollars
Sensors and software
Robotics; Milking automation and control; Video analytics; Apps - herd management; Online livestock auction software; Digital marketing and promotion of agri-produce; Feed budgeting and allocation. Drones; Real-time soil nutrition monitoring; variable rate technology for crop/grassland inputs; crop/grass monitoring systems and yield formation; Near infared spectroscopy for forage/feed evaluation; Grain storage sensing systems
Location/communication technology in crops and grassland
GPS navigation in field operations, Automation in crop husbandry, Grass and crop management software systems, virtual and augmented reality in plant production
Case Studies on commercial enterprises and organisations
An overview of current state of the art organisations and enterprises working in the area of: precision animal management, while addressing the limitations and barriers that exist in this area / providing services to assist crop production systems and their contributions to the economic and environmental sustainability of crop production. Current state of the art technologies and limitations to growth. Guest seminars from industry where possible.
Module Assessment
Assessment Breakdown%
Course Work100.00%
Module Special Regulation


Part Time On Campus

Course Work
Assessment Type Class Test % of Total Mark 30
Marks Out Of 100 Pass Mark 40
Timing Week 6 Learning Outcome 1,2,3
Duration in minutes 0
Assessment Description
Online class test evaluating the application of different technologies in an Agricultural context
Assessment Type Other % of Total Mark 70
Marks Out Of 100 Pass Mark 40
Timing End-of-Semester Learning Outcome 2,3,4
Duration in minutes 0
Assessment Description
Students will prepare and present a report on the use of a specific technology type utilised across both livestock and crop production with an overview of a company that has incorporated said technology in their business.
No Project
No Practical
No Final Examination
Reassessment Requirement
No repeat examination
Reassessment of this module will be offered solely on the basis of coursework and a repeat examination will not be offered.

DKIT reserves the right to alter the nature and timings of assessment


Module Workload

This module has no Full Time On Campus workload.
Workload: Part Time On Campus
Workload Type Contact Type Workload Description Frequency Average Weekly Learner Workload Hours
Lecture Contact Interactive lectures related to indicative content. Every Week 1.50 1.5
Lecture Contact Synchronous lecture related to indicative content Every Week 0.50 0.5
Directed Reading Non Contact Directed reading specific to indicative content. Every Week 3.00 3
Independent Study Non Contact Independent study on various assessments and indicative content. Every Week 2.00 2
Total Weekly Learner Workload 7.00
Total Weekly Contact Hours 2.00
Module Resources
Recommended Book Resources
  • Ilan Halachmi. (2015), Precision Livestock Farming Applications, Wageningen Academic Publishers, [ISBN: 978-90-8686-268-9].
  • Daniel Berckmans. (2021), Advances in Precision Livestock Farming, Burleigh Dodds Science Publishing Limited, p.300, [ISBN: 9781786764713].
  • E. Van Erp-Van der Kooij. (2021), Precision Technology and Sensor Applications for Livestock Farming and Companion Animals, Wageningen Academic Publishers, p.272, [ISBN: 9789086863648].
  • Remco Schrijver. (2019), Precision Agriculture and the Future of Farming in Europe, Delve Publishing, ON, Canada, [ISBN: 978-92-846-0475-3].
  • Taylor & Francis Group. (2021), Precision Agriculture Technology for Crop Farming, CRC Press, p.382, [ISBN: 9781032098272].
Recommended Article/Paper Resources
  • Current research publications from peer-reviewed journals will be used as additional material.
This module does not have any other resources