The general objective of the course "grain crops and forage production" is to provide basic knowledge on the cropping systems in Italian agricultural areas, with a focus on the intensive livestock farming in the Po valley. For each of the cropping systems, various aspect will be addressed in the course, such as the physiological response of the crops, either grain or forage crops, to the pedoclimatic conditions, field management practices, harvesting methods and times, and forage conservation methods. The course also aims to provide knowledge about the environmental impacts of cropping systems on cereal and livestock farms.
Expected learning outcomes
Students will learn which aspects are needed to consider in the evaluation of the grain and forage cropping systems on both cereal and livestock farms. Such aspects are crop type and potential productivity, sowing and harvest time, fertilization, irrigation, hay-cutting time, and forage conservation. Students will understand which elements are needed to consider when setting up cereal-based systems on a livestock farm, according to the livestock feeding requirement and the market prices of commodities.