AP2A66-Crop Agronomy

Module Provider: School of Agriculture, Policy and Development
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Prof Michael Shaw

Email: m.w.shaw@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
To enable students to manage the major UK arable crops at a basic level.


Assessable learning outcomes:
Factual knowledge of seasonal relationships and growth patterns of UK arable crops, including cereals, sugar beet, potato, oilseed rape, beans and peas
Knowledge of how human-directed evolution has constructed and altered these crops
Ability to assess costs and benefits of a management action in monetary, yield and quality terms
Understanding of issues to do with fertilizer volume and timing, including effects on yield and quality of crops and groundwater quality
Elementary factual knowledge of the major disease and pest problems in each crop and ability to discuss methods of management in selected cases
Elementary factual knowledge about pesticide use
Ability to construct rotations and an understanding of the constraints on these
Ability to explain alternative tillage methods, advantages and disadvantages and place in a rotation plan

Additional outcomes:
Greater numeracy
Improved confidence and selectivity with computer-based data-handling and analysis
Confidence in managing a real crop
Improved brief oral presentations
Improved literature searching, use of refereed papers and judgements on reliability of sources
Improved ability to articulate arguments effectively in writing under timed conditions.

Outline content:
Includes: Origin, diversity and history of major temperate crops typical of UK farming systems; growth patterns; relationship to environment: temperature, nutrient and water needs and responses; harvest and sowing dates in relation to climate; effects of soil type and fertilization needs; pest and disease management, rationale of rotation constructions and trade-offs; field experience of a growing cereal crop.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Lectures; Library research and individual reading
Group learning in the management of a real cereal crop, researching advice on resources
Record-keeping of the growth of that crop and comparison with other groups; analysis of crop data
Individual and small-group presentation of aspects of specific crops
Reflective report preparation on choices made during cereal growing. Co-critiques of reports

Please note that the summer term contact hours maybe undertaken in the summer term at the end of Part 1.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 13 13
Seminars 4 5
Practicals classes and workshops 6 7 4
Guided independent study 72 70 6
Total hours by term 95.00 95.00 10.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 40
Written assignment including essay 35
Oral assessment and presentation 10
Set exercise 15

Other information on summative assessment:

Formative assessment methods:
Reports; review of reports; oral group work

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    Two hours

    Requirements for a pass:
    An overall mark of 40%.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Re-examination in the re-examination period.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 21 December 2016

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