|Module Title||SOIL MANAGEMENT|
|Co-ordinator||Dr Alun Davies|
|Assignment||Soil assessment assignment||50%|
An understanding of soil physical, chemical and biological processes is fundamental to successful crop and grassland management. This module will firstly concentrate on the physical and biological processes of soils in particular: soil formation and classification, soil texture and organic matter, soil structure. Following this the focus will move to the soil chemical processes, in particular crop nutrition. This involves students gaining a firm understanding of plant nutrients, how they may be supplied to crops as fertilisers and fertiliser planning.
Assess the physical and biological properties of soils
a) The processes involved in soil formation and soil profile development are described.
b) The major soil groups are identified.
c) Physical and biological aspects of the soil profile are identified, assessed and related to agricultural characteristics.
Soils: Local soils of agricultural importance, soils in East of England.
Identify appropriate means of soil improvement.
a) Soil structure and drainage problems are identified.
b) Appropriate techniques for improving soil structure are selected.
c) Soil pH and liming recommendations are determined
Soils: Local soils of agricultural importance.
Assess the chemical properties of soil and the plants requirement for nutrients.
a) Factors affecting availability of plant nutrients in the soil are outlined
b) The behaviour and role of major and minor plant nutrients are described
c) Deficiency symptoms of major nutrients are identified
Availability: weathering, cation exchange, leaching, acidification, antagonism, synergism, fixation, mineralisation
Identify appropriate fertiliser types and plan fertiliser programmes for arable crops
a) Fertiliser rates are calculated and costed
b) Factors affecting choice of fertilisers and manures are understood and used to decide on appropriate materials
c) The principles of fertiliser response and fertiliser recommendations are used in planning fertiliser programmes
d) Fertiliser programmes are designed in a manner appropriate to the crop, the locality and the environment
Fertilisers: inorganic, fertiliser quality.
Manures: FYM, slurry, straw, green manures.