The work carried out within the PhD was divided on the development of three different automation systems in the livestock industry for cattle, sheep and goat: Study and development of an integrated automatic traceability system for the bovine meat chain In Italy, the bovine meat production chain is extremely complex both under structural and organizational profile. This is due to: high number of operators involved; large fragmentation in agricultural and industrial phases; existence of remarkable import flow of animals and meat; commercial channels complexity. Traceability can be easily reached in each single separate step of the food chain (breeding, slaughtering, packaging and selling). Problems arise in integrating each productive process subsystem. Aim of the project was to study and develop an integrated automatic traceability system for the bovine meat chain based on RFID technologies. RFID tags were used to identify: animals; hooks used in the slaughtering for the carcass transport and storing; anatomical cuts. RFID readers were installed at: farm livestock gates; slaughtering entrance; each working station in the dissection area; stock rooms. All the system was controlled by using a software divided into three main sections for the: livestock; slaughtering; stock room/shop. The system entailed the following phases: - Animal ear tag reading at farm level to identify and to record each productive step in the “Titvlvs” software; - Animal Ear tag reading through fixed antenna in slaughter house standstill corridor to send information to management software; - Animal Ear tag and hooks microchips combining in the evisceration area; - Carcass number attributing and label writing in weighting area; - Recording of carcass entry in dissection area, by using a photocell-spar system which identifies hooks; - Rewritable microchip adding in each vacuum-packed anatomical cut. - Every selling action recording, in the store/shop area, by using weighting systems connected to a web software able to perform a return control on the sold meat. The system was used in a cooperative productive organization of Northern Italy. Tests showed the functionality of the different components and the whole integration of the subsystems. Study and development of an integrated system for slurry management monitoring and electronic reports drawing up in cattle breeding Over some years a new concept, identified as “precision farming”, was introduced to improve field and farm management from agronomical, technical, environmental and economical perspectives through the use of new technologies, such as global positioning systems (GPS), sensors, satellite images and geographical information systems (GIS). Environmental and food safety regulations are becoming more and more hard-and-fast asking farmers to increase their organizational and technical skills for a well-integrated agro-territorial management. Aim of the research activity was the implementation of an integrated system for animal slurry management monitoring and electronic reports drawing up in cattle breeding in order to optimize the fertilization management and reduce the agricultural impacts. The developed system was based on the integration of the following mechanical, electronic and computational components: - Slurry production control subsystem, based on ultrasound sensors applied to slurry pits and pressure sensors applied to a slurry spreader; - Slurry spreading subsystem, constituted by an electronic card specifically developed and by a GPS/GSM device applied to tractors, able to automatically recognize the linkage with a slurry spreader and to notice its position on field; - Recording and spreading data visualization subsystem, based on a GIS able to elaborate slurry distribution maps with relative distributed quota and spreading periods; - Palm PC with a specific software (FarmWorks®) for field operations recording and data transfer to farm PC; - Management software (FarmWorks®) for field data filling and electronic reports drawing-up. The developed system, tested in a Northern Italy farm during 2008, has shown full functionality enabling to monitor animal slurry management (storage, collecting, spreading) and to optimize agricultural operations and fertilization management under an economical and environmental point of view. Study and development of a prototype collar sensitized with GPS technology to monitor the herds of livestock, the exploitation of grazing areas and for the avoidance of cattle stealing Cattle stealing, for Italian legislation, is an aggravated form of theft, which occurs with the removal of three or more head of cattle or sheep in order to profit from it (Article 625 n .8 - Penal Code). Since 2000, however, theft of livestock is a huge comeback affecting the entire country. In fact, in 2008 one hundred thousand head of cattle were stolen and intended to illegal slaughterhouses. It is, therefore, an offense that goes beyond the direct interests of agriculture affecting the whole community and, more specifically, product quality and public health. The approaches taken so far to try to counter the cattle theft phenomenon were limited to the territorial surveillance, on the other is not always feasible, especially in grazing areas often characterized by difficulties of access and remoteness from the farm.
|Titolo:||ELECTRONIC TRACEABILITY SYSTEMS IN ANIMAL HUSBANDRY: FROM FIELD SURVEY TO COMPUTERIZED MANAGEMENT|
|Supervisori e coordinatori interni:||BONTEMPO, VALENTINO|
|Data di pubblicazione:||8-feb-2011|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore AGR/09 - Meccanica Agraria|
|Citazione:||ELECTRONIC TRACEABILITY SYSTEMS IN ANIMAL HUSBANDRY: FROM FIELD SURVEY TO COMPUTERIZED MANAGEMENT ; tutor: Antoniotto G. Cavalchini ; coordinator: Valentino Bontempo. - Milano : Università degli studi di Milano. Universita' degli Studi di Milano, 2011 Feb 08. ((23. ciclo, Anno Accademico 2010.|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.13130/nava-stefano_phd2011-02-08|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||Tesi di dottorato|