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1. Energy Efficiency Research Group, HAMK Tech Research Unit, Häme University of Applied Sciences, Lotilantie 16, 37630 Valkeakoski, Finland
2. Production Systems, Natural Resources Institute Finland, Maarintie 6, 02150 Espoo, Finland
3. Bioeconomy Research Unit, Häme University of Applied Sciences, PL 230, 13101 Hämeenlinna, Finland


Digitalization has nowadays raised interest in variable applications of farming. Increase of knowledge level, by means of unique identification, automation and control, farmers gain relevant business profit. This research is focused on the utilization of passive radio frequency identification (RFID) technology in silage bale application, both manual and automated level. Challenges arise due to silage conservation, varying environmental and seasonal conditions, different identification environments and RFID operation principle. Further maximum communication signal strength is limited by telecommunication standard regulations (e.g., ETSI). The applicability of RFID technology with different commercial passive transponders is measured manually in a silage bale of 160 cm in diameter, covering 360 degrees around the bale. In addition, automated field tests are conducted in a real environment, where the data collection system is appended to a tractor and RFID reader antenna in a baler. Manual measurements are conducted as identification distance (meters) and transponder population (number of tags), while automated measurements are based on the number of successfully identified silage bales. Based on the manual measurement results, the most suitable tags for the automated field measurements were chosen, and the applicability to silage bale identification was verified. Field tests showed 100% success, with 151/151 uniquely identified silage bales. Achieved results prove that passive RFID operates well enough in silage bale identification, further enabling the development of digitalization of silage bale life cycle.


Digibale, silage bale life-cycle management, radio frequency identification, digitalization of silage bale, unique identification.

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