Module Identifier RD10420  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Dr Alun Davies  
Semester Semester 2 (Taught over 2 semesters)  
Course delivery Lecture   84 Hours 2 x 2 hour lectures per week  
  Practical   36 Hours 18 x 2 hour practicals  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam3 Hours  50%
Semester Assessment Soil report  25%
Semester Assessment Crop report  20%
Semester Assessment Oral presentation  5%
Supplementary Assessment Candidates will be required to re-take the element(s) that resulted in failure of the model except the Soil report. Due to its complexity, an alternative assignment in the form of an essay will be set.  

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
Outcome I
Description of the soil profile and initial requirements for cereal production
? The range of cereals and their markets in the UK
? Influence of climate on cereal production- soil moisture deficits and photosynthesis
? Soil texture
? The processes involved in soil formation and soil profile development
? Identification of the major local soil groups and suitability for grassland or arable production.

Outcome 2
Key factors for crop establishment
? Seedbed requirements for cereal production (eg sowing date, sowing depth, tilth and seed rate)
? Crop establishment
? pH and drainage
? Appropriate varieties
? Seed dressing

Outcome 3
Key factors in crop husbandry following establishment.
? Weed, pest and disease identification
? Principles of herbicide use
? Financial implications

Outcome 4
Key factors in crop husbandry during spring growth
? Weed, pest and disease identification
? Principles of herbicide and fungicide use
? Financial implications

Outcome 5
Nutrient transformations in the soil leading to plant food availability
? Behaviour and role of major and minor plant nutrients- N Cycle
? Principles of inorganic fertilizer use
? Fertiliser programmes appropriate to the crop growth stages,
? Principles of organic based nutrients ? FYM, slurry and green manures

Outcome 6
Late protection and harvesting of the crop
? Plant growth regulators
? Late crop protection decisions re flag leaf and heading
? Projected harvest and yield
? Financial performance of crops are assessed


The relationship between the plant and the soil is highly complex. The module aims to introduce students to the principles of soil structure and soil chemical / biological processes necessary for the supply of plant nutrients. These principles will be applied by the students in the management of their own winter cereal plots for crop establishment, crop nutrition, crop protection and crop yield.

Through an integrated programme of lectures, laboratory practicals and field plot work students will be made aware of the management requirements accorded to cereal crop production underpinned with an understanding of the importance of soil conditions.

Reading Lists

BATEY, T (1988) Soil husbandry Soil and Land Use Consultants

Technical Reports
NIAB Cereals variety handbook NIAB, Cambridge

RUDEFORTH, C et al (1984) Soils and their use in Wales Soil Survey of England and Wales
WHITE, R E (1987) Introduction to the Principles and Practice of Soil Science Blackwell Scientific Publications


This module is at CQFW Level 4