|Assessment length / details
|Forum posts: students will be required to post at least once in each forum and to reply at least once to another student's post. The forum will be assessed on quality, quantity, relevance and manner of each post (total word count 1,500)
|Data analysis task (2,000 words)
|Report comparing different low-input systems (2,500 words)
|Students must take elements of assessment equivalent to those that led to the failure of the module
On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
1. Demonstrate an understanding of the principles and standards of low-input/organic ruminant farming systems.
2. Critically assess different feed/forage systems in relation to their viability for low input/organic ruminant farming systems.
3. Apply methodologies used to determine on-farm nutrient and energy flow.
4. Appraise different low-input/organic ruminant farming systems and markets.
The module will discuss recent developments in low-input and organic farming research. The module will draw upon the ongoing research in IBERS and elsewhere to provide the students with the knowledge they require to understand the latest scientific evidence. The module will take the students through our current understanding and to reduce inputs to bring them all to the same level of understanding. The aim of this module is to outline the concepts behind ruminant production in a low input or organic system. It will examine alternative methods of production, from unique forages and sward mixtures to interesting animal breeds that could provide a more tailored product for niche markets. The course will also look at natural methods of disease control that can be adopted by low input or organic systems.
The module aims to provide students with an in-depth knowledge of the latest research into low-input and organic farming.
- Overview of production systems
- Low input markets
- Nutrition in low input systems
- Home grown feeds
- Nutrient flow
- Rotation management
- Disease control and positive welfare/health approaches
- Ruminants in mixed farming systems
- The future for low input farming The module will deliver the content through a series of recorded lectures, interviews and discussions between researchers at IBERS. The students will be given a reading list of 'essential' and 'recommended' articles and books. They will be expected to interact through forums with other students and the course tutor/researcher. The module will also contain assessments which will encourage students to apply the research they have learnt about in the module to real-life scenarios.
|Application of Number
|Low-input ruminant markets and nutrient flow will both be considered in some detail and will be included in assessments.
|Students will be expected to be able to express themselves appropriately in their assignments.
|Improving own Learning and Performance
|Detailed feedback will be given for assignment work. This will be assessed through the feedback providing general guidance towards the student's next assignment. Especially with the formative assignment that will be due before any summative assignments.
|Students will be required to source information from a variety of scientific publication data bases and to use Blackboard for all aspects of the module.
|Personal Development and Career planning
|This module will provide the students with the latest research into low-input and organic farming to help them provide the most up-to-date information/advice to their colleagues/clients in the agri-food industry.
|Online forum posts will be used to help develop and improve students' problem solving skills, through use of questions that present theoretical problems for the students to solve.
|Students will be required to undergo directed self-study and so will develop their literature research skills.
|Subject Specific Skills
|Low-input production techniques and systems.
|Online assessments will require students to debate among themselves to develop a consensus of opinion.
This module is at CQFW Level 7