AP3A102-Principles of Integrated Pest Management

Module Provider: School of Agriculture, Policy and Development
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term 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 introduce the major classes of organisms competing with people to consume crops and outline plant defences against them. To provide a mental framework for thinking about factors determining the impact of pests, disease and weeds: population growth and factors limiting it; natural enemies; movement from crop to crop in space and time. To show, by selected examples, how this impact depends on the whole cropping system. To allow students to assess how integrated modifications to a system, including pesticides, biopesticides, classical and inundative biocontrol, and varietal and agronomic factors can give stable and resilient output from the system.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that the student will
• Recognise a limited range of plant disease signs, pests, weeds and beneficials
• Be familiar with a selected range of pesticides showing contrasting characteristics
• Understand how parasitic organisms, weeds and beneficials transfer between host crops and multiply, both within crop and regionally
• Describe causes and consequences of exponential growth and its limitation by selected density-dependent factors
• Recognise and explain selected examples of system-wide integration of management tactics
• Analyse simple pest problems and suggest system changes which will improve the overall outcome

Additional outcomes:
Appreciation of the complexity of natural and cultivated ecosystems and better system-scale thinking; improved library research, identification and problem solving skills. More informed reading of commercial advertising material.

Outline content:
This module will: describe some of the basics of the biology of weeds, the most important herbivorous insect groups and a few of the taxonomic groups causing plant disease; demonstrate the importance of natural enemies; contrast case-histories representing successful and unsuccessful applications of biological control; introduce typical important patterns of population dynamics; show how a serious visible detriment to production is the outcome of the interaction of host, environment and pathogen, pest or weed; describe some contrasting examples to show how production systems may favour or disfavour particular organisms; discuss the action of pesticides within a cropping system and resistance evolution; decision making, precision approaches and the effect of outside constraints on use of pesticides or other agronomic variables.

The Lecture Content covers population dynamics, applied to pathogens, weeds and pests, including the action of natural enemies; case-histories in biological control; examples of how interactions of host, environment and pathogen, pest or weed lead to different outcomes; effects and side-effects of pesticides within a cropping system; resistance evolution; precision approaches and decision support.

The Practical Content will cover:
Examination of example lepidoptera, aphids, parasitoids, biocontrol nematodes, rusts, mildews and ascomycetes; estimation of effective dose of a pesticide; recording the observations appropriately.

Global context:
Efficient and effective management of pests, diseases and weeds is essential for sustainable farming. Integrated pest management makes the most effective use of resources to achieve this.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Lectures; problem-based seminars; field/lab-based practicals; external reading.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 16 16
Seminars 5
Practicals classes and workshops 13 2
Guided independent study 71 77
Total hours by term 100.00 100.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 70
Practical skills assessment 20
Class test administered by School 10

Other information on summative assessment:
The above coursework assessment details are indicative only and may differ from the above but are likely to include: practical work record-keeping, factual tests and a set exercise.

Formative assessment methods:

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:
    A two hour scenario based exam to include extended answer type or essay questions.

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

    Reassessment arrangements:
    By re-examination.

    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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