Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 1 x 2 hour lecture per week
Practical 4 x 3 hour practicals per semester


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 3000 word critical review of research paper  Outcomes assessed: 1  30%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   Examination  Outcomes assessed: 2, 3, 4  70%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   Exam, testing all outcomes  100%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Evaluate the potential of exploiting knowledge of basic mechanisms to improve crop management practice

2. Assess the level of precision with which inputs can be determined in crop production.

3. Recommend practices for improving the quality of grazed and conserved herbage.

4. Design production systems that offer long-term sustainability.

Brief description

The module examines how the physical environment and crop management decisions influence the growth, yield and quality of grass and arable crops. The aim is to explore how limitations may be overcome to maximize the efficiency of crop production systems. The module is taught through a series of lectures and visits and includes the following specific subject areas: herbage quality limitations and the potential for improving quality; evaluation of grass cultivars; nutrient cycling in grassland systems; grass sward improvement; silage and rumen microbiology; nitrogen nutrition of arable crops; physiology of yield determination; phosphorus nutrition; implications of climate change for crop and grassland production, GM technology.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Communication Production of a written review of a research paper.
Research skills Students will be required to evaluate research methods, design and procedures in order to produce a written review of a research paper.

Reading List

General Text
Bazzaz F and Sombroek W editors (1996) Global climate change and agricultural production FAO & J Wiley and Sons, London Primo search Hay R and Walker A (1989) An introduction to the physiology of crop yields Longman Scientific Primo search Loomis R S & Connor D J (1992) Crop ecology : productivity and management in agricultural systems Cambridge University Press Primo search McDonald P, Henderson N and Heron S (1991) The biochemistry of silage 2nd edition Primo search Minson D J (1990) Forage in ruminant nutrition Academic Press, San Diego Primo search Whitehead D C (1995) Grassland nitrogen CABI, Wallingford Primo search
Recommended Text
European Environment Agency Report (2004) Impacts of Europe's climate change Natural Environmental Research Council Briefing Note GMOs and the environment (2004) Institute of Food Science and Technology Genetic modification and food


This module is at CQFW Level 6