The aim of the course is to provide basic knowledge 1) on the primary production of agro-ecosystems, with in-depth analysis of the factors that define, limit and reduce plant production; 2) on the growth and development dynamics of open field crops more nutritional and economically important in animal nutrition.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course, students will acquire basic knowledge of agronomy and of the traits affecting plant production in agro-ecosystems. They will also acquire knowledge on the development dynamics of open field crops and their characteristics in relation to their use in animal nutrition.
Lectures Part I: factors defining plant production (8 hours) Moisture and dry matter, the concepts of harvest index and carrying capacity. Crop productivity conditions: potential, obtainable and effective production. Potential production: photosynthetic process and biochemical process. Respiration. Solar radiation, temperature and their effects on crop production. The main phenological phases of the crops. Part II: factors limiting and reducing crop production (16 hours) Production limited by water, the water balance of the soil-plant atmosphere system; the terrain; efficiency of water use; crop production limited by nutrients; main features of mineral and organic fertilizers. Part III: Herbaceous crops (16 hours) Microterms cereals (wheat, triticale, barley) and macroterms cereals (corn and sorghum): main morphological and eco-physiological characteristics, use in livestock feed. Forage crops: meadows, pastures, grasses: -main features, possibilities and production limits in our environments. Oil-protein crops (soybean): main morphological and eco-physiological characteristics; use in animal nutrition. In field and practical activity (16 hours): - herbaceous crop recognition - technical visits in agro-technical companies
Prerequisites for admission
Lectures and in field and farm activity
Didactic material available on ARIEL
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam consists of a written evaluation: 33 multiple choice questions (1 point right answer, 0 point no answer, -1 point wrong answer). The maximum is 30 "cum laude": all 33 right answers.