Module Identifier RS36210  
Academic Year 2007/2008  
Co-ordinator Dr Malcolm H Leitch  
Semester Semester 1  
Other staff Dr Iwan G Owen, Dr Peter Dennis  
Course delivery Lecture   1 x 2 hour lecture per week  
  Practical   4 x 3 hour practicals per semester  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment 3000 word critical review of research paper Outcomes assessed: 1  30%
Semester Exam2 Hours Examination Outcomes assessed: 2, 3, 4  70%
Supplementary Exam2 Hours Exam, testing all outcomes  100%

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to:   

1.   Evaluate the potential of exploiting knowledge of basic mechanisms to improve crop management practice

2.   Assess the level of precision with which inputs can be determined in crop production.

3.   Recommend practices for improving the quality of grazed and conserved herbage.

4.   Design production systems that offer long-term sustainability.

Brief description

The module examines how the physical environment and crop management decisions influence the growth, yield and quality of grass and arable crops. The aim is to explore how limitations may be overcome to maximize the efficiency of crop production systems. The module is taught through a series of lectures and visits and includes the following specific subject areas: herbage quality limitations and the potential for improving quality; evaluation of grass cultivars; nutrient cycling in grassland systems; grass sward improvement; silage and rumen microbiology; nitrogen nutrition of arable crops; physiology of yield determination; phosphorus nutrition; implications of climate change for crop and grassland production, GM technology.

Module Skills

Research skills Students will be required to evaluate research methods, design and procedures in order to produce a written review of a research paper.  
Communication Production of a written review of a research paper.  

Reading Lists

** General Text
Bazzaz F and Sombroek W editors (1996) Global climate change and agricultural production FAO & J Wiley and Sons, London 0471957631
Hay R and Walker A (1989) An introduction to the physiology of crop yields Longman Scientific 0582408083
Loomis R S & Connor D J (1992) Crop ecology : productivity and management in agricultural systems Cambridge University Press 0521387760
McDonald P, Henderson N and Heron S (1991) The biochemistry of silage 2nd edition. 0948617225
Minson D J (1990) Forage in ruminant nutrition Academic Press, San Diego 0124983103
Whitehead D C (1995) Grassland nitrogen CABI, Wallingford 0851989152

Web Page/Sites
** Recommended Text
European Environment Agency Report (2004) Impacts of Europe's climate change
Natural Environmental Research Council Briefing Note GMOs and the environment
(2004) Institute of Food Science and Technology Genetic modification and food


This module is at CQFW Level 6