AP3A47-Cereal Management and Marketing

Module Provider: Agriculture
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites: knowledge of basic statistics
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2020/1

Module Convenor: Dr Paola Tosi

Email: p.tosi@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

You'll learn how to evaluate the effects of genotype, agronomy and environment on the yield and quality of small-grained cereals and determine their impact on financial margins. Learning will be via a combination of in-class lectures and farm-laboratory practicals during which you will acquire first-hand experience of grain analysis methods set by the cereal industry and determining their suitability for different markets. The course should interest anyone planning to have a career in arable farming, but of particular relevance to those wishing to develop as agricultural consultants, grain traders or farm managers.

For the student to become familiar with the principles and practices of growing, assessing and selling cereal crops for different markets

Assessable learning outcomes:
The students will be able to assess a field experiment. They will be able to evaluate the consequences of cereal crop management on crop yield, quality and financial margins. They will have gained an understanding of the compromises that need to be taken in cereal agronomy due to legal, environmental, financial, climatic and soil constraints. They will know the grain characteristics used when determining the suitability of cereal grain for different markets and be aware of the different ways of marketing grain from the farm. The students will gain an understanding of how and why grain prices fluctuate for different markets over time.

Additional outcomes:
The ability to defend decisions before contemporaries. Experience in developing productive partnerships.

Outline content:
The effects of genotype, agronomy and environment on the yield and quality of small-grained cereals will be reviewed in terms of production, financial and environmental objectives.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Pairs of students will be given grain from plots from a field experiment investigating various agronomic inputs on yield and quality. The students will evaluate the yield and quality of their grain by doing tests of moisture content, purity, thousand grain weight, specific weight, germination, grain protein concentration, Hagberg falling number SDS-sedimentation volume and blackpoint. Lectures and guided reading will be used to enable the students to understand their results on the bases of t reatment, site and climatic effects. Once the specifications of their grain are known the students will attempt to market their grain in a simulated selling exercise. This will require students to make decisions about the worth of their grain, when to sell it, and to convince others of its worth. A written report and oral presentation will require students to explain how the crop was grown with an explanation how crop choice, management and selling decisions could have been improved. 

The report will also include statistical and gross margin analyses; explanations of the relevance of different grain characteristics for different markets; and suggestions for alterations to crop agronomy to achieve multiple objectives. Key references will be available via the Blackboard course.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 12
Practicals classes and workshops 14
Guided independent study: 74
Total hours by term 0 100 0
Total hours for module 100

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Report 70
Oral assessment and presentation 30

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

An oral presentation  by week 8 (30% of final mark) and a 2000 words written report ( 70% final mark) ) by the end of the Autumn term.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:

The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (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.

Assessment requirements for a pass:
A mark of 40% overall.

Reassessment arrangements:
By coursework: Re-submission of report

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: 27 July 2020


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