Metrology for farm pests control: what contributions meeting technical efficacy, environmental sustainability and certification requirements


Fabrizio Mazzetto

Free University of Bozen/Bolzano

Sandro Liberatori

ENAMA - Roma (Ente Nazionale per la Meccanizzazione Agricola)

Domenico Pessina

University of Milan

Emanuele Cerruto

University of Catania

Rino Gubiani

University of Udine

Simone Pascuzzi

University of Bari "Aldo Moro"


The problem of future worldwide food availability always places the control of the phytosanitary status of primary production as a priority objective. The historical evolution of the sector massively based on the use of chemical means has caused significant problems of diffuse pollution. This led to consequent regulatory constraints to keep the protection of ecosystem and physical habitats under control as much as possible. The operational rules, however, involve measures that are not easy to implement, and control actions by farmers still present many technical and organisational problems.
Preventive actions oblige the machinery to undergo periodic calibrations at specialized centres that, however, today must also be able to assess the effectiveness of the increasingly frequent electronic regulation systems with which the machines are equipped. Nowadays measuring the behaviour of specific distribution tools is not surely a problem. On the contrary, determining the collateral effects such tools have on the environment is far from simple, especially with regard to the complex dynamics of drift phenomena.
In such conditions, finding feasible solutions for the replicability of measurements for certification purposes is still problematic, owing to environmental and weather variability. This even causes a certain disorientation on the part of the machine manufacturers, who have to satisfy different environmental constraints in the various world markets.
Ultimately, this is typical application domain in which Metrology methods can properly contribute to the development of alternative measuring technologies. And this taking into account the purposes of the decision-making problems such measures can support within the management of the farm domain.


We welcome contributions on the following aspects:

  • Efficiency and homogeneity measures of sprayers´ distribution;
  • Studies and measurements of drift phenomena; fluid-dynamic models for the aerosols dispersion in the atmosphere or watercourses contamination;
  • Comparative testing of sprayers and/or nozzles, use of conventional and/or innovative patternators;
  • Setting up of measuring systems for comparisons between tests to be carried out in field and in controlled environments;
  • Incremental or radical technological innovations in the sector (intelligent sprayers, physical treatments instead of chemical ones);
  • Organisation of the periodic inspection and calibration centres of the machines;
  • Machine certification issues and regulations in the sector.


Prof. Fabrizio Mazzetto, MSc in Agricultural Sciences (1983) and PhD in Agricultural Engineering (1990), both at University of Milan (Italy). Now Full Professor of Farm Machinery and Mechanization at the Free University of Bolzano. His main research topics are related to: a) development of new prototypes for mountain contexts; b) ICT application to supply information management tasks of farm and forestry processes; c) development of precision agriculture and forestry techniques, d) rural energy applications. Past FAO-UNDP energy consultant and coordinator several national/international research projects. Now, member of the “Accademia dei Georgofili” of Florence and President of the 7th Section of the Italian Society of Agricultural Engineering, for ICT applications in agriculture. He is responsible of the new AgriForestry Innovation Lab at the NOI-TechPark of Bolzano dealing also with new approaches in the certification issues of farm machinery.

Dr. Sandro Liberatori, MSc in Agricultural Sciences (1987) and PhD in Agricultural Engineering (2016). General Director of ENAMA (since 2000) and Contract Professor at the Free University of Bolzano (since 2017). His work has been always focused on performaces and safety issues of agricultural machines. Besides he’s responsible for the officially accredited national certification activity of agricultural machines, he is the National Designated Authority in the OECD Agricultural Tractors Codes since 2001 and has been President of the Annual Meeting for two years. Founder Member of the ENTAM network and responsible of the Technical Reference Unit of the United Nations CSAM Network for Testing of Agricultural Machinery in Asia and the Pacific as well as member of the Advisory Panel of the Network. Member of the “Accademia dei Georgofili” of Florence and of many national and international Technical Commitees for Innovation in the field of agricultural mechanization. In 2004 he received the Banhazi Price – highest Hungarian tribute for foreign scientist in the field of agriculture –and in 2020 he has been appointed by the Ministry of Agriculture of Japan as Peer Reviewer of the activities performed by the NARO Institution.

Prof. Domenico Pessina, MSc in Agricultural Sciences in 1981 at the University of Milan-Italy. Now Full Professor of Agricultural Mechanics and Mechanization at the same University. Main research topics: a) safety and ergonomics of agricultural machinery; b) standardization of the performance of agricultural self-propelled machinery and implements; c) efficiency and environmental sustainability of tractors; d) performance, periodic inspection and certification of sprayers; e) agricultural soil compaction. Member of the permanent OECD Group for the agricultural tractors performance standardization and coordinator of several national/international research projects. President of the 5th Section of the Italian Society of Agricultural Engineering, for Ergonomics and work organization; Member of the Club of Bologna. Head of the Italy-Milan OECD Testing Station for the official testing of RollOver Protective Structures and Falling Object Protective Structures in accordance with OECD Codes.

Prof. Emanuele Cerruto, MSc in Electrical Engineering at the University of Catania, Researcher in 1994, PhD in 1995, now full time Associate Professor at the Di3A (Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment), section of Mechanics and Mechanization of the University of Catania (Italy). Main topics research: 1) machinery for pesticide application (foliar deposition, ground losses, worker exposure, nozzle spray quality); 2) worker safety (noise and vibration exposure); 3) post-harvest technology (packing lines, mechanical fruit damage); 4) renewable energies apüplications in agriculture, with particular focus on anaerobic digestion plants; 5) digestate spreading.

Prof. Gubiani Rino. Degree in Agricultural Sciences in 1984, fellowship from 1986, researcher from 1991, associate professor from 2007 in Farm Machinery and Mechanization always in Udine University, DI4A Department. His main research topics are related to: vineyard mechanization; work quality in vineyard sprayers and machines calibration, safety and health in agricultural workplaces; design of plant layout of wineries, biomass production for energy; design on ergonomic and safety workplaces in agricultural machines. He has coordinated several national and international research projects, he is a member of the Italian Society of Agricultural Engineering and Ruralia.

Prof. Simone Pascuzzi, MSc in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Bari, Researcher in 1994. Now full time Associate Professor of Agricultural Mechanics and Mechanization at the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Science of the University of Bari Aldo Moro (Italy). Main research topics: 1) mechanization in precision farming (remote and proximal sensing, controlled traffics farming, UAV and UGV) 2) machinery for pesticide application (foliar deposition, ground losses, worker exposure, nozzle spray quality); worker safety; 3) renewable energy in rural sector (geothermal energy; hybrid power systems with hydrogen use).

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