Module Identifier RS32010  
Academic Year 2007/2008  
Co-ordinator Dr Nicolas H Lampkin  
Semester Semester 2  
Other staff Dr Susanne Padel, Dr Phillipa K Nicholas  
Mutually Exclusive RS20210 , RD26010  
Course delivery Lecture   1 x 2 hour lecture per week in weeks 1 - 6  
  Seminars / Tutorials   1 x 2 hour seminar per week in weeks 7 - 11  
  Practical   2 x 2-3 hour practicals during semester  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment COURSEWORK - 3000 WORD ESSAY  100%
Supplementary Assessment RE-SUBMISSION OF COURSEWORK  100%

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
1. Define the objectives and principles of organic crop production, identify the regulations governing organic crop production in the European Union and describe the way these regulations are implemented in the UK;

2. Describe the role of soil organisms and organic matter (carbon) in maintaining soil fertility, identify appropriate soil and organic residue management practices; and evaluate the impact of soil management practices in organic farming on soil biological activity and fertility

Identify appropriate sources of major crop nutrients (N, P, K, Ca, Mg) and the factors influencing their cycling and utilisation in organic cropping systems, including preparation and interpretation of nutrient budgets;

Identify the main ecological principles governing cropping systems and illustrate/evaluate their application to rotation design and polycultures (intercropping), as well as interactions with non-crop elements, in organic cropping systems;

Assess the factors governing crop health and productivity, and discuss their application in practice, with particular reference to nutrition, weed, pest and disease control, yields and quality;

Design appropriate cropping systems for specific situations (e.g. arable, horticulture, perennial crops) and describe the management of selected arable and horticultural enterprises, taking account of technical, husbandry, financial, and environmental considerations as well as market requirements.

Brief description

This module covers the objectives, principles and practice of organic soil management and crop production in the context of the regulatory environment within which organic systems operate.


Module Skills

Research skills Developed whilst researching and writing an essay on a selected topic  
Communication Developed during students presentation of their coursework during seminars  
Improving own Learning and Performance Through individual study for coursework  
Information Technology Word processing and internet usage for individual essays  

Reading Lists

** General Text
ADAS/EFRC (2002) Managing manures on organic farms Booklet series. DEFRA
Altieri, M (1995) Agroecology - the scientific basis of sustainable agriculture 2nd. Intermediate Technology Publications
Lampkin, N H (1990) Organic farming Farming Press
Loomis, R S and Connor, D J (1992) Crop ecology - productivity and management in agricultural ecosystems Cambridge University Press
Price-Jones, D and Solomon, M E (editors) (1974) Biology in pest and disease control Sagar, G R : On the ecology of weed control Pages 42 - 45. John Wiley & Sons
Soil Association Technical guides for organic crop and livestock production
Unwin, R (editor) (1990) Crop protection in organic and low input agriculture British Crop Protection Council
Younie, D et al (editors) (2001) Organic cereals and pulses Chalcombe Publications

** Recommended Consultation
Mader, P et al (2002) SCIENCE Soil fertility and biodiversity in organic farming 296 : 1694 - 1697.


This module is at CQFW Level 6