Cropping systems

A.Y. 2021/2022
Overall hours
Learning objectives
Provide students with advanced tools for analyzing and managing herbaceous cropping systems at different spatial scales.
Expected learning outcomes
Simulation models used to improve the productivity of cropping systems, to protect them from biotic and a-biotic adversities, and to minimize their environmental impact. Agroecological indicators and remote sensing to optimize cropping systems management at farm level. Analysis of cropping systems to support markets management at EU level.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
Lessons will be through the Microsoft Teams platform and will be recorded and made available on the Teams channel of the class. Practical activities will be carried out on Teams too, using dedicated software applications.
Course syllabus
The course provides conceptual and IT tools for the analysis and optimization of cropping systems at different spatial scales. For each scale, most suitable techniques will be presented and discussed. For the first scale level, corresponding to the field, techniques will be presented for the integrated evaluation of cropping systems of interest and the identification and comparison of management strategies using also simulation models. Novel techniques will be also discussed for protecting crops against biotic and a-biotic injuries. For the second scale level, corresponding to the farm, agroecological indicators will be used to optimize crop distribution in time and space, and to optimize energy fluxes in the farm. The techniques used for the first and second scale levels will be applied also to regional, national and continental case studies. During the course, a project will be also carried out with the aim of developing new technologies to support the analysis and management of cropping systems.
Prerequisites for admission
Basic skills in agronomy, crop physiology, ecology, soil chemistry.
Teaching methods
48 hours of frontal lessons
24 hours of practical lessons
8 hours of field activities
Assessment methods and Criteria
Written, practical and optional oral examinations. The written part consists in (i) 3 open questions, each assigning a score from 0/30 to 7/30; (ii) 10 quiz, each assigning 1/30. The practical examination (from 0/30 to 30/30 cum laude) consists in optimizing irrigation and fertilization using a crop simulator. The oral part (optional, if requested by the student) consists in 3 questions, each assigning a score from -2/30 to +2/30, which is added to the mean of the scores achieved in the written and practical examinations.
AGR/02 - AGRONOMY AND FIELD CROPS - University credits: 8
Field activity: 8 hours
Practicals: 24 hours
Lessons: 48 hours
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