Module Identifier RD26010  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Mr Nicolas H Lampkin  
Semester Semester 2  
Course delivery Lecture   22 Hours 22 x 1 hour lectures  
  Practical   12 Hours 4 x 3 hour practicals  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam1.5 Hours  30%
Semester Assessment Assignment: Outcomes Assessed: 2, 3. Farm conversion planning assignment70%

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
Outcome 1

Understand the framework for organic farming.

Performance criteria:
a. the term "organic farming" is defined.
b. The role of organic farming organisations both within the UK and internationally is explained.
c. The extent of organic farming within the UK is appreciated.
d. The markets for organically produced food in the UK are identified.


Mainstream definitions and organisations.

Outcome 2
Appreciate the husbandry standards and guidelines for organic food production.
Performance criteria:
a. The importance of good soil management and rotation design is stated.
b. The means of maintaining soil fertility in grassland and arable cropping are identified.
c. The organic approach to weed, pest and disease control in crops is outlined.
d. An appreciation of the importance of animal housing, feeding and welfare in relation to animal health is demonstrated.
e. Livestock rations appropriate to an organic system are designed.
Mainstream agricultural crops and livestock.

Outcome 3
Plan the conversion of a farm to an organic system.
Performance criteria:
a. A plan for conversion of a farm in terms of crop and livestock husbandry is produced.
b. A gross margin budget for the converted farm is produced.
c. Financial problems encountered during the conversion period are identified together with possible solutions.
College farm or farm with which student is familiar.

Brief description

Within the last decade food production based on organic farming systems has moved from being a fringe activity to one which is being taken up by an increasing number of farmers and growers. A great deal of research work is now being carried out by
mainstream organisations such as ADAS and the universities. In view of this development, students studying for a HND in Agriculture should be given the opportunity to develop an interest in and gain knowledge of organic farming systems. This option will by nature of its length be introductory, but will provide the basis from which students may further develop their interests.

Virtually all the modules of the course will link in with this one and indeed the similarities between organic and conventional farming will be stressed as well as pointing out the areas where the organic approach is quite different.


This module is at CQFW Level 5