Hello, I would like to take the Agronomy Level 4 Certificate course, but have a few questions. - How is the course assessed? Will it be through continual assessments e.g. online essay submission, or just the one final exam? - Where are final exams held? - Will students produce coursework evidence? - Please can you provide a rough idea of the duration of this course Many thanks, Sarah
The course is assessed via online assignments as well as an exam at the end of the course, You can read all about the examination process here (click me). You will submit work to your tutor online in a variety of formats, from written to photograph depending on your preferences. The course is approximately 100 hours of study.
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Agronomy course online. Agronomy offers many job opportunities. Demand for agronomists is strong; whether as a farmer, farm employer or providing technical support or marketing services in the agriculture sector.
Learn the principles and practices that underpin commercial broad acre crop production (agronomy) and develop an ability to interpret and apply information practically, on a farm. Complement your farming studies or experience and seek employment in the highly sought after field of agronomy!
Learning Goals: Agronomy BAG306
- Develop your understanding and confidently describe the nature and scope of agronomic practices within your country and others.
- Discuss what is grown, where it is grown and the diversity of practices used to grow a wide range of crops.
- Learn how to identify factors that affect the success of a crop; including soil condition, climate factors and biological influences such as pests and diseases.
- Clearly desribe significant practices used by farmers in the growing of an agronomic crop; including the management of soils, water, cultivations and crop protection.
- Explain how to achieve successful seed germination for different agronomic crops under different conditions in the field.
- Discuss practices used to farm cereals for harvest and sale as cash crops.
- Discuss practices used to farm broadleaf crops for harvest and sale as cash crops.
- Understand the use of different harvesting equipment and techniques including post harvest handling for a range of different crops.
- Demonstrate your knowledge by producing a management plan for a crop from planting to post harvest handling.
Lesson Structure: Agronomy
- Introduction to Agronomic Practices
- Crop Types
- Plant structure and Function
- Transpiration rate
- Selection Criteria for Plants
- Understanding monoculture
- Row Crops
- Cover Crops
- Crop Operations
- Planter types
- Culture - What influences Crop Growth?
- Problems with soils
- Loss of soil problems
- Soil sodicity
- Soil acidity and alkalinity
- Improving soils
- Cultivation techniques
- Plant nutrition
- Nutrient deficiencies
- Organic fertilisers
- Soil life
- Insect Pests
- Crop Husbandry Practices
- Identifying weeds
- Ways to control weeds
- Chemical crop protection
- Preparing plant pathogens for microscopic observation
- Culturing Pathogens
- Natural pest and disease control
- Physical controls
- Organic sprays and dusts
- Seed and Seed Management
- Seed storage
- Types of seed storage
- Seed vigour testing
- Dormancy factors affecting germination
- Germination treatments
- Types of media
- Media derived from rock or stone
- Media derived from synthetic materials
- Organic media
- Salinty build up
- Arable Cereal Crops
- Cereal crops
- Zadock scale
- Sugar cane
- Hay and Silage
- Quality control
- Storage and handling
- Hydroponic fodder
- Arable Broadleaf Crops
- Characteristics of broadleaf crops
- Oil crops
- Narrow-leafed lupins
- Faba beans
- Cover crops
- Common legumes
- Crop preparation for harvest
- Crop harvest equipment
- Forage harvesting equipment
- Cereal harvesting equipment
- Root crop harvesting equipment
- Grain storage
- Contract harvesting
- Crop Management - Special Report
- Crop management from planting to post harvest handling
- Go to your local department of primary industries (or equivalent), collect cropping guides on crops grown locally in your area. Ensure your information includes broadleaf, legume and grass (cereal crops). Collect fodder crop information also and find out what the main fodder crops are in your area.
- Obtain pictures of the seed and mid season crop and mature crop. Become familiar with agronomic terms and start a glossary, use library, text and internet searches to complete this task.
- Having looked at what crops are grown in your region, now look at the soil types. What type of soil is common to your region. What are the main features to these soils. That is, what colour is the soil, what texture is it, does it have a high sand or clay content, does the soil drain well, or waterlog? How did this soil form? Write these down as a reference.
- Collect photos of the various planting, cultivating and harvesting equipment used in your country and write brief notes on when and where you would use which machine and for which crop. Do this for a maximum of 5 pieces of equipment.
- Collect samples of your own seed (for 4 different crops), from a local farmer or produce store.
- Perform your own germination test using the cotton wool method.
- Take photos on day 2, and the final day.
- Record the number of seed germinating per day, and then the total number on the final day.
- Develop a management plan for a crop from planting through to post harvest handling.
Your learning experience with ADL will not only depend on the quality of the course, but also the quality of the person teaching it. This course is taught by Susan Stephenson and Andy Patterson . Your course fee includes unlimited tutorial support throughout from one of these excellent teachers. Here are their credentials:
BSc in Applied Plant Biology (Botany) Univ. London 1983.
City and guilds: Garden Centre Management, Management and Interior Decor (1984)
Management qualifications in training with retail store. Diploma in Hort level 2 (RHS General) Distinction.
Susan Stephenson is a passionate and experienced horticulturist and garden designer. She has authored three books, lectures at 2 Further and Higher Education Colleges, teaching people of all ages and backgrounds about the wonders of plants and garden design, and tutors many students by correspondence from all over the world.
Susan studied botany at Royal Holloway College (Univ of London) and worked in the trading industry before returning to her first love plants and garden design. She is therefore, well placed to combine business knowledge with horticulture and design skills. Her experience is wide and varied and she has designed gardens for families and individuals. Susan is a mentor for garden designers who are just starting out, offering her support and advice and she also writes, delivers and assesses courses for colleges, introducing and encouraging people into horticulture and garden design.
Susan is a Professional Associate and exam moderator and holds the RHS General with Distinction. She continues to actively learn about horticulture and plants and (as her students will tell you) remains passionate and interested in design and horticulture.
She also supervised the Area Arboriculture Team and was Exhumations Officer in charge of collecting discovered remains and arranging identification (if poss) and interment of same.
PGCE Biological Sciences; Doctor of Naturopathy (pending); Registered Nutritional Therapist; Permaculture Design Consultant (PDC); BSc(Hons) Ecology;
Andy has been a biology and science teacher since 2002, and a natural health therapist since 1998. His original degree was in Ecology and is well experienced in the Life Sciences generally, from biology, medicine and clinical sciences to horticulture, ecology and the environment. he divides his time between a therapy clinic; teaching, tutoring & lecturing. Andy is a passionate believer in the power of education to transform people’s lives, and gives 100% support to helping students achieve their goal.
Andy has worked as a Biology lecturer in a number of post age 16 colleges, and 11-18 year age schools across the country during a 13 year career. This has included work as an Assessor for exam boards, 1 on 1 tutoring, working with small groups and whole classes. He worked on an award winning national Nuffield- STEM initiative using innovative educational techniques to develop sustainability awareness with KS3 school children. He has also managed a large vocational science area in a busy college and developed a successful Premedical curriculum which has helped many students on to successful medical careers.
Excerpt from the Course
TYPES OF SEED STORAGE
Seeds are commonly stored in airtight, re-sealable glass or metal containers (not plastic). Paper bags are better then plastic ones although snap-lock plastic bags can be used as long as the seed has been thoroughly air-dried beforehand. Keep the containers in a cool, dark spot where they are safe from vermin. The best storage is in low humidity using airtight containers. However some seeds such as peas and beans prefer some air so are best stored in bags or envelopes; onions, corn, parsley and parsnip can also be stored this way.
- Seed stored in glass or metal is better than that stored in plastic. Plastic containers give off ethylene gas which is an inhibitor to germination.
- Seed from many of the fleshy fruited species has a short life span, and should be sown as soon as possible or mixed in a one-to-one ratio of moist sand, sphagnum moss, or a peat and perlite mixture, and stored in a cool place. If the root emerges from the seeds during storage, the seedling should be removed and planted immediately.
- At all times seeds, depending on the species, should be placed in envelopes, bags or airtight jars and labelled with the name and date of collection.
- Store seeds in the refrigerator, not the freezer, until you are ready to plant. Longevity is protected by low temperatures, humidity, and darkness. Alternatively store in a cool dark, dry place free from insects if possible. Insect strips may be placed in the paper seed storage bags for further protection.
- Cold storage in a freezer can extend the lifespan of many seeds as low temperatures will slow down the decaying process, however it will also damage some species. Seeds need to be returned to room temperature before they are sown.
Open storage with no controls:
Storage in bins, sacks or paper bags. Fumigation or insecticide/fungicide applications are sometimes necessary. Seeds of many annuals, perennials, vegetables and cereals can be successfully kept this way. Apart from a few exceptions (eg. corn, onion, parsley, parsnip, delphinium, kochia, candytuft), seeds from these groups will normally retain viability for at least a few years.
Cold storage with or without humidity control:
Temperatures below 10oC will improve longevity of virtually any type of seed. Cold storage of tree and shrub seed is recommended if the seed is to be held for more than one year.
Cold moist storage:
Here seed should be stored between 0 and 10oC and in a container which contains some moisture retaining material (eg. Peat or sphagnum moss). Relative humidity should be 80 to 90%. Examples of species requiring this type of storage are: Acer saccharinum, Carya, Castanea, Corylus, Citrus, Eriobytra (loquat), Fagus, Juglans, Litchi, Persea (Avocado) and Quercus.
Check seed health prior to planting
If seed production crops could be grown in healthy soil, and the plants remained free of disease or infection, the seed harvested from that crop would also be disease free. In reality this is almost impossible achieve but plants grown in a dry/ arid climate (that is not conducive to the spread of disease) are more likely to have reduced seed-borne disease problems - especially such diseases as blights and viruses. However even arid areas will experience wet conditions or wet seasons from time to time which will promote potential insect attack and disease. Plant diseases will greatly reduce yield. Any pathogens may affect storage quality, germination, market availability, harvest yield, seed appearance, or contain may contain harmful toxins.
In most instances, therefore seed treatments such as fungicides (for disease control) or insecticides (for insect control) are applied to seed before planting. This helps to prevent spread of disease, ensure high germination rates and healthy plant growth. Some seed treatment products are also sold as combinations of fungicide and insecticide.
Fungicides are used to:
- Control soil-borne pathogens that cause damping-off, seed decay, blight and root rot
- Control seed-surface borne fungal pathogens such as smut, rust and black-point
- Control internally seed-borne fungal pathogens such as smut fungi
Some systemic fungicidal seed treatments may provide protection against early-season infection by leaf diseases. However most fungal treatment used on seed will not control bacterial pathogens or even all fungal diseases. Choosing the correct seed or soil treatment is therefore extremely important for the health and longevity of the seed and seedlings. The degree of achievable disease control varies according to:
- the disease organisms present
- the product
- the rate of application
- the environmental conditions
Seed testing is a commercially common practice today for most commercial seed producers. It is used to assess seed quality, purity and viability. The testing procedures for commercial producers in many countries are set by the best practice guidelines under the Rules for Seed Testing of the International Seed Testing Association and the Association of Official Seed Analysts. Irrelevant of where the seed is produced or by whom (other than for home garden collectors), the guidelines and testing methods set by these associations should be followed.
Seed treatment however, will usually only improve the germination of seed if the poor quality is because of seed-borne disease.
There are several tests designed to evaluate the various qualities of the seed including:
- direct germination
- warm (standard) germination
- cold germination
- excised embryo
- accelerated aging
- tetrazolium testing
The test that is most appropriate for a particular seed depends on its species, the conditions under which it is tested and what the seed is going to be used for.
|Recognised Issuing Body||TQUK - Training Qualifications UK, an Ofqual Approved Awarding Organisation.|
|Course Prerequisite||No, start at anytime|
|Course Qualification||Level 4 Certificate in Agronomy|
|Exam Required?||Finalised with exam/test|
|UK Course Credits||10 Credits|
|US Course Credit Hours||3 Credit Hours|
|Study Support||You'll be allocated your own personal tutor/mentor who will support and mentor you throughout your whole course. Our tutors/mentors have been specifically chosen for their business expertise, qualifications and must be active within their industry. Tutors are contactable by e-mail, telephone and through our Moodle Student Support Zone online. Tutors are there to provide assistance with course material, discuss, explain and give advice and support throughout the whole programme. Their feedback is vital to your success.|
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