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Soil, Water and Plant Mineral Nutrition

Introduction:

The module provides a systematic understanding of the requirements of plants for water and mineral nutrients and how these can be managed. Soil properties and processes which contribute to soil quality and sustainability and the mechanisms by which agricultural practices, inputs and wastes impact on the environment will be presented along with options for management, remediation and improvement.

Objectives:

On completion of this module participants will be able to:

  • Understand the principles of sustainable agriculture and have a critical awareness of problems arising from delivery and avoidance of sustainable practices.
  • Understand the fundamental concepts of resource management for agriculture, landscape and conservation.
  • Evaluate the use of water, nutrients and other natural resources on agricultural regimes as well as their impacts on the wider environment.
  • Analyse the sources and effects of environmental pollution.
  • Select and apply appropriate tools and techniques to optimise cropping and limit and manage pollution.

Contents:

  • Agriculture, landscape and conservation.
  • Plant physiology and resource requirements.
  • The use and misuse of resources.
  • Soil: Physiochemical attributes.
  • The biology of soil.
  • Soil quality, sustainability and management.
  • Managing water, mineral and organic nutrients.
  • Managing waste for and from agriculture.
  • Managing chemicals for crop production.
  • Anthropogenic chemicals in the environment.
  • Effects of pollutants: global warming, eutrophication etc.
  • Managing non-agricultural environments.
  • Bioremediation.
  • Phytoremediation.
  • Decision support tools for crop production.