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Irrigation - (Crops) 100 Hours Certificate Course
Learn About Irrigation (Crops)
This irrigation online course covers the design, installation, maintenance, operation and evaluation of simple irrigation systems.
This online course focuses on irrigation systems for row crops (eg. vegetables & cut flowers) and orchards.
Features of this course include learning how to irrigate crops whether on a large or small scale.
You’ll learn how to plan system types of irrigation to designing appropriate pumps and filters, along side of understanding soil characteristics, drainage and plant needs.
If your interest is in growing row crops then this course will help you understand the methods needed for irrigating these types of crops. This 10 lesson course covers:
Lesson Structure: Irrigation – Crops BHT204
There are 10 lessons:
- Soil Characteristics And Problems
- Estimating Plant And Soil Requirements
- Drainage – drainage systems, dams, etc.
- Types Of Irrigation Systems
- Hydraulics – discharge and flow rates, etc
- Pumps And Filters
- Selecting The Right System For The Plant
- Trickle Irrigation
- Design And Operation Of Systems
Please Note: Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the academy, marked by the academies tutors and returned with any relevant suggestions, comments, and extra reading if required.
Learning Goals: Irrigation – Crops BHT204
- Identify and consult appropriate sources of information for the irrigation industry.
- Explain the significance of soil characteristics to irrigation.
- Determine when to irrigate in a small scale situation.
- Explain the drainage aspect of handling water.
- Explain the operation and selection of irrigation systems.
- Explain the operation and selection of trickle irrigation systems.
- Determine specifications for the design of an irrigation system.
- Explain the pumps and filters needed for handling water adequately for crops.
- Supervise the installation of an irrigation system.
- Design and operate an irrigation system for crops.
Practical (Set Tasks)
SOIL STRUCTURE AND IRRIGATION
Soil structure has a great effect on both the soil water status and other aspects of the soil. With a desirable structure, water is held in the soil long enough for the plant to absorb what is needed but the excess drains away fast enough that the plant roots do not suffer any problems associated with being too wet.
There are basically four components to soil:
1. Sand – particle between 0.02 to 2mm diameter
2. Silt – between 0.02 and 0.002mm in diameter
3. Clay – less than 0.002mm in diameter
4. Organic matter – animal or plant material.
The nature of a soil will depend on the relative proportions of sand, silt, clay and organic matter. Soils which are very sandy are usually better for propagating seed or cuttings, but need to be kept well-watered. Sandy soils are suitable for some types of plants while heavier soils are better for other types of plants. The principle behind improving soil structure is based on correcting imbalances in the relative proportions of the four basic components in soil (e.g. to improve a sandy soil add clay or organic matter).
On a small scale adding clay to sand, or vice versa, can be reasonably easy to accomplish. On a large scale (e.g. broad-acre crops), trying to improve soils in this manner would be too expensive to carry out. Addition of organic matter to any soils, except those rare soils already high in organic matter, is generally the best way to improve a soils structure and will also help improve the moisture holding capacity of sandy soils.
Too high a proportion of clay can cause the following:
• Poor drainage
• Small pore spaces (i.e. spaces between the soil particles)
Small pore spaces can lead to:
• Deficiency of air available to roots
• Increased likelihood of soil compaction
• Difficulty with cultivation and weeding
• Slower movement of fertilisers due to them being held tightly by the clay particles and
therefore slower to work in the soil
Too high a proportion of sand can lead to the following:
• Drainage is too quick and therefore soil becomes susceptible to drying
• Soil does not hold together well and so erosion can become a problem
• Nutrients leach out so plants cannot fully utilise them
Organic matter serves a number of purposes:
• It binds soil particles together but keeps the soil open and prevents compaction
• Restricts erosion to some degree
• Holds moisture in the soil
• As it decomposes it provides nutrients for the plants
• Slows down the rate of soil temperature changes
SOILS FOR DIFFERENT PURPOSES
Different soils have different degrees of fertility and different capacities to absorb and retain water, so an understanding of soils is of major importance to the potential irrigator. Often, little or no attention is paid to soil type when choosing an area to irrigate.
Irrigating a poor soil may be economical in the short term but can be disastrous in the long term. Soils can be characterised according to chemical as well as physical aspects.
Chemical aspects of the soil which must be considered are:
1. Soil pH (acidity/alkalinity)
Soil pH is a measurement scale for acidity/alkalinity which goes from 0-14. Soils range between 3.5 (very acidic) to 10 (very alkaline). The “p” in “pH” stands for the negative logarithm to the base 10, and the “H” stands for H+ (the hydrogen ion). Because “pH” is the negative logarithm of the hydrogen ion concentration, a rise of 1 pH unit means a ten-fold increase in alkalinity and a fall of 1 pH unit means a ten-fold increase in acidity (in simple terms, pH is a measurement of the balance between the negatively and positively charged particles in a soil).
Soil pH can be measured in a laboratory with a pH meter on a suspension of 1 part of soil in 5 parts of water.
Field tests may be made using indicator solutions that change colour according to pH.
pH is important because it affects the availability of the various nutrients in the soil. Some nutrients become unavailable in acidic soils whilst others become unavailable in alkaline soils.
All plants prefer to grow within their own particular range of pH.
Some plants only grow well in a narrow pH range but others will tolerate a much wider range. Table 1 gives you the optimum pH ranges of some plants.
Soil pH may be lowered (made more acidic) by the addition of fertilisers such as those containing sulphur (e.g. ammonium sulphate) and may be raised (made more alkaline) by the addition of lime. The pH of irrigation water may interact with the pH of the soil to create a condition which is either good or not so good for plant growth.
Soils high in sodium are slow-draining and remain waterlogged after heavy rain or irrigation. When sodic soils are wetted they break down and their clay disperses. Clay dispersion can be identified by placing a small clod of the soil in a saucer of pure rain water. Within two hours, a cloud of clay particles will appear around the clod.
When Sodic soils dry out they form a very hard surface crust that makes cultivation difficult. Soil sodicity is measured in the laboratory in terms of the percentage of ions held by the soil’s clay particles, which are sodium ions. The total number of ions which can be held by the clay is referred to as the soil’s “Cation Exchange Capacity” (CEC). If sodium is more than 6% of the soils CEC it is a sodic soil, which therefore disperses when wet.
However, if saline irrigation water is used, dispersion can be prevented. A better method, though, is to prevent dispersion by the addition of gypsum Ca3 (S04) 2, lime Ca (OH)2 or other compounds containing calcium. The calcium ions will substitute for the sodium ions held by the clay particles.
Excess salt is often found in the soils of dry areas where salt has been redistributed and concentrated by irrigation water.
Danger levels of salt concentration vary with soil texture and plant species. Soil salinity is usually expressed as the electrical conductivity of an extract from a paste of water saturated soil (EC)e which is a somewhat lower concentration than would occur in the soil solution of a wet soil…
Assessment is based on a combination of completing all assignments and sitting for a final short one and a half hour exam, in your own location.
If you don’t cope well with exams then you may elect to undertake a project instead. This is a popular option.
In addition, most modules have a Set Task at the end of each lesson placed before the assignment. This is an opportunity to undertake practical work to help you acquire knowledge and skills and practical experience. This ADL feature is an added bonus not found at most online schools. Set Tasks are not required for assessment.
Some courses also have optional Self-Tests which are available on our online learning platform. These are not available by correspondence or by USB, and do not form part of your overall grade.
How our courses work
- Choose Your Learning Method
You choose how you would like to receive your course material, i.e., Online, USB or Correspondence. The choice is yours. You may also work on online or offline.
- Tutor Allocation
Every student is assigned their own dedicated tutor who is an expert in their subject area. They provide as much or as little individual contact as you require. You can contact your tutor whenever you need – your hours are not limited.
- Feedback and Assignments
Tutor Feedback is an essential component in helping you understand the subject matter. Tutor feedback is given in the form of notes written on the assignment. We encourage you to contact your Tutor where help with clarification and understanding of course material may be required.
Your assignments are located at the end of each lesson. You submit them for marking whenever you are ready. There is no time limit.
- Set Tasks and Self-Tests
Most modules have a Set Task at the end of each lesson before for the assignment. This is where you get the opportunity to undertake practical work to help you acquire knowledge, skills and practical experience. Many modules also have short Self-Tests.
Once all assignments have been completed you may then elect to sit for a one and half hour exam in your own location. If you prefer not to take the exam you do have the option to undertake a project instead.
Once the exam or project part of the course is completed, your Certificate is then processed. Please allow approximately 4 weeks for this.
- Design Your Own Qualification
ADL offers students the flexibility to self-design their own qualification – bundling together a combination of 100-hour modules into a qualification higher than a certificate.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Due to our years of experience and wide range of online courses, here are a list of our FAQs and Answers asked by Students.
Q. Do I need to buy text books?
A. No, you are not required to purchase expensive text books for any of our courses, since each module has been written by highly qualified tutors and writers, and our courses are updated on a regular basis, adding new information, methods and knowledge. You are supplied with all “essential” references. Extra books are always useful though, especially for special projects. Tutors will advise you what to buy if you decide you would like to have extra reading material, but it is not essential. Check out our eBookstore if you’re looking for a starting point.
Q. What sets the Academy apart from other institutions?
A. A unique feature of our courses is that we combine knowledge of the subject matter with practical tasks (set tasks, found at the end of each lesson). So you get to do practical components in each lesson. The benefits of this approach are immense: – your skills and knowledge are developed to a much higher level not normally found at other distance learning institutions.
Q. How do the practical exercises (set tasks) work?
A. The practical component of each lesson can be in the form of : Field Research, Networking and Analysis, Conducting Surveys, Growing, Collecting, Photographing and Processes.
Q. Can I pay by instalments?
A. Yes, you can view all available payment options here.
Q. Are there any hidden costs?
A. There are no hidden extras – the tuition fee covers all course material, unlimited tutor support, assignment marking/feedback and any text books where specified and exams. The only extras are for the public examinations fees for the ICB Bookkeeping course and the RHS (Royal Horticulture Society) exams.
Q. Are your courses up-to date?
A. Our courses are continually updated. The course content is rapidly updated and improved without the red tape and bureaucracy experienced at other educational institutions.
Q. Do you have a Cancellation policy?
A. We have a cancellation policy that is fair and equitable. For further details please click here.
Q. What Recognition do you have?
A. The Academy for Distance Learning has various forms of recognition:
These include TQUK (Training Qualifications UK) – an Ofqual Awarding Organisation – ADL is an approved TQUK Centre.
IARC – International Approval Registration Centre, approved member. Accredited Training Provider for ICB (Institute of Certified Bookkeepers) and Approved Distance Learning Provider for the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) and many more. Our graduates come from many parts of the world and have used our qualifications for successful employment and progression onto higher education. To view our full list of recognition and memberships please click here,
Q. Will I have any opportunity to engage with other students?
A. We have a Student Community group based on facebook! If you don’t have a facebook account already, you could make one just for talking with fellow students on the group.
Q. Why should I enrol with the Academy for Distance Learning?
A. Here at the Academy our students are our priority – we treat every student as a unique individual. This philosophy allows us to nurture those who are “slow and steady” learners rather than letting them fall through the cracks, while catering for those who are in a hurry to complete.
Q. Can I study from anywhere in the world?
A. Our courses are available to anyone, anywhere in the world from the comfort of your own home. The course content is relevant to any country, culture or economy.
Q. Completing the course- how long will it take?
A. Completion of modules varies from student to student. Many factors come into play such as work commitments and family life- there are always distractions. Some students work quicker than others. For a 100 hour module many students will take up to 3- 6 months, others take less time and some are even longer. It’s all up to you. There is no pressure to complete or deadline to finish. Naturally, longer courses will take more time.
Q. What learning formats are there?
A. Your enrollment comes with the Online Classroom study option by default. For a small additional cost you also have the options of USB or Correspondence.
USB: Your course is sent to you on a USB stick, so that you can carry it in your pocket. Ideal for those with unreliable internet connections. This option is an additional £5/module
Correspondence: You download the course content and then print your own copy to your requirements. You can then bind the lessons to suit your needs.
Q. Assessment – how does it work?
A. For each 100 hour module you are assessed by assignments (at the end of each lesson) and a final one and a half hour exam (or you may elect to complete a project instead of sitting the exam) – the choice is yours – you sit for the exam in your own location, or you can visit us in Canterbury, England to sit the exam if want to. Exam fees are included in the tuition fee you paid. You can read more about the examination process here. At the end of each lesson, there is an assignment. You submit it to the academy who then submits it to the tutor for marking, comments and feedback. Our policy is to have a grade for you within 5 to 7 days.
Q. How many assignments do I need to complete for each module?
A. At the end of each lesson, there is an assignment – so if a course has say, 10 lessons there would be 10 assignments. The number of lessons per module varies from module to module. See the course content from our website for further details.
Q. When do I have to hand in my first assignment?
A. There is no deadline for handing in the first assignment. Submit when you are ready. There are some students who hand in assignments within the first couple of weeks of enrolment – while there are others who submit their work 6 months later. It’s all at your own convenience to suit you. Everyone has different work and home commitments and we cater to these needs.
Q. I am having difficulty attending workshops/industry meetings, what can be done?
A. If your course requires attendance at workshops, conferences, or industry meetings; alternative arrangements can be made in your country; however, there may be an additional expense. We can appoint an appropriately qualified person anywhere to work through curriculum documentation supplied by us, to satisfy the requirements set down in a course.
Q. What qualification will I receive?
A. For individual modules, you would receive a Certificate (providing you complete all assignments and the exam). If you just want to complete the assignments only, then a Letter of Achievement would be awarded. For more details on qualifications awarded please click here.
Q. Is there a next level to progress to?
A. Yes – you can progress from one module to a combination of many modules and to higher qualifications i.e. Advanced Certificates, Diplomas and Higher Advanced Diplomas. Read more about course levels here.
Q. Can I customize my diploma/higher qualification?
A. Not all educational institution’s certificates /diplomas meet everyone’s needs. The opportunity to design your own diploma at the Academy (subject to our approval) is an added bonus, not found at other colleges. It’s a very popular option and widely used by many students. You quite simply choose the appropriate number of related modules needed to complete the qualification and submit them to us for approval as a custom diploma.
Q. What do I get when I complete the course? Will I receive a transcript?
A. At the completion of a 100-hour Certificate course and providing all assignments and exam have been completed, you will receive a Certificate and Transcript. The Transcript will list your GPA. Each 100-hour module is worth 3 credit hours.
Q. Do I have to sit for an exam?
A. Exams are optional but need to be undertaken in order to receive the Certificate or higher qualification. Exams are one and a half hours long. You appoint an adjudicator (subject to our approval) to supervise the exam. You sit for the exam in your own location. Its that simple.
Q. I don’t cope well with exams – what can I do?
A. If you feel you don’t cope well with exams you may elect to undertake a Project (set by the tutor) instead of sitting the exam. Many students prefer this option as they find researching the material for the project sharpens their research skills.
Q. If I don’t sit for the Exam do I still get a qualification?
A. If you don’t sit for the exam but complete the project alternative, you will still receive your endorsed qualification. If you don’t sit for an exam or complete a final project, providing you have completed all the assignments you will be awarded a Certificate of Achievement.
Q. Do I have to sit for the exam at the Academy?
A. No – whilst you are more than welcome to come to our location in Canterbury, U.K. and sit the exam in our classroom; the more popular option is to sit for the exam in your own location. You appoint an adjudicator to supervise the exam. Click here for more information on that process.
Q. Our tutors – who are they?
A. We only employ tutors who have are currently active in their industry with at least 5 years of real-world experience. Not only are they highly qualified but also experienced, knowledgeable, and professional- experts in their chosen fields from all parts of the world.
Q. Can I contact my tutor at any time?
A. Yes- you have unlimited access to tutors. We strongly encourage students to develop a dialogue with their Tutor. This is why we encourage students to submit their first assignment fairly quickly at the beginning of the course.
Every Academy student is assigned a tutor who supports you throughout your course and beyond. Your tutor is there to guide and facilitate your learning and provides as much or as little individual contact as you would like. When you submit your coursework the tutor will give you feedback that helps you develop your ideas and provides motivation. For those who do like to have interaction with other students, the ADL discussion forum connects you to students from all over the world.
Q. How do I contact my tutor?
A. You have direct contact with your tutor by email through the Online Classroom. Alternatively, you can write, fax, email, or phone the academy. Leave a message if your tutor isn’t available and they will phone, write or fax back; whatever suits you.
Q. If I don’t understand a question or a lesson may I contact the tutor?
A. You may contact a tutor as often as you like. There is no additional charge or restriction on this service. Contact can be made via the Student Zone, email, or by phone.
Q. Practical work – How is this done?
A. To find out more about this part of the course please visit the section on How Our Courses Work here.
What your tuition fees include
There are no hidden extras
FAQ - RHS Theory Qualifications
If you require further details about any of the RHS industry recognised qualifications please, call one of our friendly RHS Course Advisors on +44 (0)1227 789 649 or email: email@example.com
Q: When can I Enrol/Start My RHS Course With ADL?
A: Anytime, Anywhere. There are no enrolment deadlines.
Q: I live Overseas. Can I Study From Overseas?
A: You can study any of the RHS theory qualifications overseas. All courses are offered in English. You will need to email RHS Qualifications direct to arrange sitting for your examination overseas.
Q: Is There a Time Limit for Completing an RHS Qualification?
A: At present there are no time limits. However, RHS is contemplating in the future, the introduction of course time-lines.
Q: Are There Any Entry Requirements (Pre-Requisites)?
A: The RHS Theory courses do not require prerequisites, previous experience or any knowledge of horticulture. You just need passion for all things horticulture.
Q: What Course Should I Start With First? I Am New To RHS Qualifications.
A: We highly recommend that you start with Level 2 – Principles of Garden Planning, Establishment and Maintenance.
Q: What Does ADL Course Material Include?
A: Includes Power Point Presentations, Videos and written course lessons.
Q: When Do Exams Take Place?
A: Exams are held on fixed dates in February and June of each year. You should register as a candidate at least 3 months before these dates, so please do not leave exam registration to the last minute
Q: Where Do I Take My Exams?
A: UK: You take the exams at the RHS Wisley Centre, located between Cobham and Ripley in Surrey or at other authorised RHS centres around the UK.
Overseas: please email RHS qualifications direct for centre information.
Q: Exam Pass Marks?
A: Module – pass 50%. Commendation 70%.
Qualification: 50% pass for all modules.
Commendation awarded for all modules.
Each question carries a value of 10 marks.
Q: I’m Not Happy With My Exam Results?
A: You have the opportunity to re-sit your exam at the next opportunity.
There are no restrictions on the number of re-sits you can take. The highest mark you achieve will remain.,