To acquire an integrated view of the various elements that concur to the management of crops in different soil and climate contexts and their integration in cropping systems. Students can go through the factors affecting crop management and crop function into cropping systems. Definition, management and evaluation of cropping systems in terms of productivity, sustainability and environmental impact.
Expected learning outcomes
Basic elements of agricultural meteorology and agro ecology and crop response to meteorological factors; knowledge on the management of cropping systems in relation to the environment,t soil and climate conditions. Students get knowledge of: (I) agronomic practices and their effects on productivity and environment; (II) cropping management relating to pedoclimatic conditions. Students get skills in planning of irrigation, fertilization plans and weeding plans, getting knowledge of practical methodologies; principles of organic farming.
Lesson period: year
(In case of multiple editions, please check the period, as it may vary)
The agro-ecosystem and the plant-atmosphere relationship. The agro-ecosystem at land, farm and field scale. Factors influencing yields and quality of crops. Ecophysiology of plants in the cropping system. Growth analysis and index used in growth analysis. Solar radiation use efficiency. Plant and climate: effects of meteorological variables (solar radiation, temperature, precipitation, wind, relative humidity) on crop production. Effects of atmospheric pollution on crops. Thermal time. Response to day length. Protection from climatic injuries. The Agrometorology and their application Dynamics of water uptake and water use efficiency. Surface runoff and erosion. Drainage system. crop management ant their scientific basis Soil tillage: primary and secondary tillage operation. Conservative tillage, minimum tillage and no-tillage. Crop fertilization techniques. The requirement of nutritional elements, macro and micro nutrients. Dynamics of nutrients in soil. Soil and plant based diagnostic methods to identify the shortage of mineral nutrients. Type of fertilizers (Nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium fertilizer) and their use. Organic fertilization, slurry and manure characteristics and usage. pH correction and improvement of physical characteristics of soil. Cropping system and crop rotation. Intensive, extensive and organic agriculture systems. Weeds control. Weed management using agronomic, chemical, mechanical biological and physical approach. Dynamics of herbicides in soil and in the cropping system. Practical activities: Agro meteorological instrumentation, preparation and analysis of meteorological data. Preparation of fertilization plans according to regional regulations. Preparation of plans for weed management
Prerequisites for admission
The basics of mathematics, physics, chemistry and statistics provided by previous courses in the curriculum are required. There are no formal prerequisites, but students are strongly advised to attend and take the exam for all the courses of the first year before attending the course.
the course consists of lectures (with the help of slides), practical activities, and seminars in co-presence of external experts.
all the slides used in class, reference materials and examples relating to practical activities are available on the Internet, on the website http://www.acutis.it/It_corsi.htm. Recommended texts: "Agronomia" (2017) and Edises, ISBN 9788879599658.
Assessement methods and criteria
Learning is verified through written and oral examination. The exams take place through an on-going test (optional) and written assessment at the end of the course, including a written part and an oral part. The ongoing test consists of 8 multiple choice questions and 4 open answer questions related to the topics covered in the first period of lectures (to be carried out in the time of 1 hour). The ongoing test can be taken only in the period between the first and second quarter. For this test, 2 dates will be available between the end of January and the end of February. The final test consists of; a) 4 multiple choice and 2 open answer questions related to the topics covered in the second period of lectures and practical activities (to be held in 30 minutes). b) preparation of a fertilization plan, based on information made available to the student at the time of the examination (including a certificate of soil analysis and information on the cultivation system needed for preparing the plan); for the fertilization plan the time allotted is 1:45 hours. c) short oral, less than 10 minutes long.
Students who have not passed (or have not passed) the ongoing test, will carry out the two phases of the examination (written on the first part of the course, and points a, b, c of the second part of the course) in the same day