Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Agronomy and Crop Improvement
Academic Year
Semester 2 (Taught over 2 semesters)
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Grass and Forage System Evaluation  This task has two elements. The first is an advisory report based on a choice of key grassland or forage crop topics. The second is a one page fact sheet on the same topic aimed at farmers highlighting good practise and propose management strategies. 2000 Words  50%
Semester Assessment Crop Protection Plan  Prepare a crop protection plan for an arable crop of your choice, grown in either an organic or conventional setting. The information provided should be in a form of a growers guide. Principle components include: 1. Anticipated pests, weeds and diseases, in the order they are likely to occur 2. Control strategies, including opportunities for integrated pest management 2000 Words  50%
Supplementary Assessment Crop protection plan  2000 Words  50%
Supplementary Assessment Grassland Evaluation  Students must take elements of assessment equivalent to those that led to failure of the module. 2000 Words  50%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Explain the mechanisms behind the major biotic constraints to crop productivity in the UK.

Describe the agronomic requirements of a range of non-cereal arable and forage crops.

Describe and critically analyse crop production systems.

Identify and evaluate appropriate crop protection strategies.

Understand the importance of variety production, in terms of agronomic and quality characteristics.

Brief description

The module describes the basic agronomy of a range of selected UK arable and combinable break crops including potatoes, sugar beet, oilseed rape and field beans. Agronomic characteristics include rotation, soil type, sowing and plant establishment, nutrition, crop protection, harvesting and post-harvest storage. Contrasting systems approaches to crop and grassland production will be discussed and their effectiveness evaluated. Biotic constraints on production will focus on the impact of diseases, weeds and pests in arable crops, including mechanism and magnitude of yield losses, crop resistance, chemical and biological control, integrated crop management. Finally, the objectives and achievements of arable crop, grass and legume breeding will be reviewed.

These lectures will include discussion of the variety development, registration, multiplication and certification procedures and the likely impact of advances in biotechnology on future crop production and management.


Systems approaches to arable, grass and forage crops
Crop rotation and rotation planning
Integrated crop management

For grassland and forages
Management systems, production and environmental protection
Grazing management
Forage conservation
Forage crops

For crop plants incl. oilseed rape, potatoes, sugar beet and field beans :
Market requirements
Varietal characteristics and end use
Rotation, soil preparation and seed establishment
Plant protection: weed, disease and pest control
Harvesting and post-harvest treatment and storage

Crop protection
Disease development and epidemiology
Disease management strategies
Pests and pest damage
Pest management strategies
Weed biology and competition
Weed control
Integrated crop protection

Plant breeding

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Communication Students will write coursework in contrasting styles and formats.
Problem solving Students will draw up a crop protection programme for a given set of conditions
Research skills Students will research material beyond the scope of the lecture material for both components of coursework


This module is at CQFW Level 5