AGRONOMY 3012RW - Innovation in Agronomy III
Roseworthy Campus - Semester 2 - 2024
General Course Information
Course Code AGRONOMY 3012RW Course Innovation in Agronomy III Coordinating Unit Agricultural Science Term Semester 2 Level Undergraduate Location/s Roseworthy Campus Units 3 Contact Up to 6 hours per week Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y Assumed Knowledge AGRIC 2505RW Course Description This course aims to provide students with an understanding of the important physiological principles of crop production and how these principles can be applied to cropping systems. The course has three modules focussing on Innovations in: (a) weed management; (b) water and nutrient management; and (c) agronomic management. The first module will focus on enhancing understanding of behaviour of weeds under different tillage systems, herbicide properties and their interaction with crop establishment and weed control in no-till seeding systems. This module will also cover off-target risks of herbicide use including development of herbicide resistance in weeds. The second module will focus on water and nutrient management in cropping systems. Important topics such as managing crop sowing time, cover cropping/rotations and precision planting will be covered. The last module of the course will focus on innovations in crop agronomy including precision agriculture, decision support tool Yield Prophet, grain and graze systems and frost risk and its management. The practical work in this course will focus on learning and applying information from crop simulations models through Yield Prophet, understanding spatial variability from satellite imagery from FluroSat. Another practical will focus on crop safety and weed control with pre-emergence herbicides.
Course Coordinator: Dr Gurjeet Gill
The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.
Course Learning Outcomes
1 Describe the role of physiological processes controlling plant growth and development. 2 Understand the effect of environment and management on crop growth, rate of development, water and nutrient use efficiency 3 Describe the impact of latest crop management practices on crop productivity and resource use efficiency 4 Undertake sampling of plants and soils for routine analysis of soil water and crop growth and development 5 Interpret results of herbicide ressistance testing in weed populations and how to use this information to improve future management decisions. 6 Gain completence in the use of decision support systems Yield Prophet and Flurosense for improving crop management. These activities are undertaken by students in small groups. 7 Understand the behaviour of herbicides in the environment and evolution of herbicide resistance in weeds and their management.
University Graduate Attributes
This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:
University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth
Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.
Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving
Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.
Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills
Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.
Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness
Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.
Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency
Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.
Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.
Required ResourcesLecture handouts will be posted to the relevant area of MyUni before each class. There will be no provision of printed lecture handouts.
Recommended ResourcesTow, Cooper, Partridge and Birch (2011) Rainfed Farming Systems (Online access available through UA library)
Loomis, RS and Connor, DJ (1992) Crop Ecology: Productivity and management in agricultural systems. Cambridge University Press
Learning & Teaching Activities
Learning & Teaching ModesThe course material is taught by a combination of lectures and practical classes, with assessment in the form of practical write-ups, and summative assessment in the form of the final examination. The lectures are organised into three streams. The first of these are lectures that cover major principles related to crop physiology. The second stream covers impact of technological interventions on resource use efficiency. The third stream addresses the role of herbicides and management of herbicide resistance. Lecture modes used are based primarily on traditional classroom paradigms of lecturer-student interactions, using PowerPoint or similar presentation techniques.
There are three major practicals in this course. First of them deals with developing knowledge of interpreting results from herbicide resistance testing in weed species. Based on data collected forryegrass samples, students are required to produce individual reports based on the analysis of the data and what it means for the future management of paddocks from where these weed samples were collected. The second practical exercise is based on an online decision support system called Yield Prophet. This is a state of the art decision support system widely used in the Australian grain industry. In this exercise students learn how simulation models are used in the industry to manage nitrogen input for crops. The third practical in this course, develops knowledge of spatial variability in crop growth in cropping fields and how digital platforms are currently used in Australian grains industry to capture and use this information for making management decisions. In this course, we use Flurosense which is a relatively new digital platform that uses satellite imagery to capture spatial variability in crop growth within a field.
Feedback is provided on all assessed work.
The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.A student enrolled in a 3 unit course, such as this, should expect to spend, on average 12 hours per week on the studies required. This includes both the formal contact time required to the course (e.g., lectures and practicals), as well as non-contact time (e.g., reading and revision).
Learning Activities Summary
Week Lectures Practicals 1 Understanding herbicides – mode of action and use
Understanding herbicides – behaviour in soil and plants
Screening ryegrass populations for herbicide resistance and how to manage the problem (data collection by student groups).
• Formation of student groups
• Discussion about the scope of practical 1
2 Herbicide use risk – off target movement and soil residue impacts.
Herbicide use risk – herbicide resistance in weeds
Yield Prophet – an Australian decision-support system and its application in crop management
• Introduction to the practical
• Data collection on crop biomass and growth stage in the study paddock.
• compare model predictions with your field data.
• Run N comparison rate and N Profit reports
3 Herbicide interaction with seeding systems – weed control and crop safety
Changing behaviour of weeds in cropping systems – adaptation and species shift
No practical this week 4 Yield Prophet: predicting crop yields for in-crop management decisions. Understanding spatial variability – crop growth assessment in low and high production zones
Tutorial on FluroSense and scope of the practical
Field data collection of crop biomass, growth stages and identification of production constraints
5 Spatial variability in crop growth and application of Precision Agriculture (PA) for crop management Yield Prophet – an Australian decision-support system and its application in crop management
Crop biomass and growth stages – compare model predictions with your field data.
6 Grain and graze systems: grazing value and yield impacts Understanding spatial variability – assessment of soil factors responsible for differences in crop growth 7 1. Frost risk and its management
2. Plant growth regulators in Australian cropping systems
Crop walk: visit to agronomic field trials at Roseworthy 8 Soil water management Understanding spatial variability – crop growth assessment in low and high production zones
Field data collection of crop biomass, growth stages and identification of production constraints
9 Nutrient management and soil amelioration Spatial variability: estimation of crop yield in the good and bad zones in your paddock 10 Changes to sowing time Field walk – group presentations of main findings from Flurosat (spatial variability) and Yield Prophet 11 No lectures All day field trip to the mid-north
• ADAMA mid north site
• MNHRZ Frost Learning Centre: Farrell Flat
• Hart Field Site Group
12 Cropping systems Practical examination – 15%
The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:
- Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
- Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
- Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
- Assessment must maintain academic standards.
Assessment Task Task Type Due Weighting Learning Outcome Investigating herbicide resistance in ryegrass and its management (individual report) Summative
15% 1,2,4,5,6 Role of Yield Prophet in improving crop management decisions (individual Report) Summative Week 7 15% 1,2,4,5,6 Investigation of spatial variability in crop growth and yield (individual report) Summative Week 11 15% 1-6 Final Practical Examination Summative Week 12 15% 1-6 Final Exam Summative Exam Period 40% 1-6
Assessment DetailPractical - spatial variability and Yield Prophet (individual report) (15%)
Practical - spatial variability in crop growth (individual report) (15%)
Practical - herbicide resistance in ryegrass (15%)
Practical Examination (15%)
Final Exam (40%)
SubmissionAssignments should be submitted with a cover sheet available from MyUni. Feedback will be provided within two weeks after the submission date.
Late submission of assessments
If an extension is not applied for, or not granted then a penalty for late submission will apply. A penalty of 10% of the value of the assignment for each calendar day that is late (i.e. weekends count as 2 days), up to a maximum of 50% of the available marks will be applied. This means that an assignment that is 5 days or more late without an approved extension can only receive a maximum of 50% of the mark.
Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:
M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme) Grade Mark Description FNS Fail No Submission F 1-49 Fail P 50-64 Pass C 65-74 Credit D 75-84 Distinction HD 85-100 High Distinction CN Continuing NFE No Formal Examination RP Result Pending
Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.
Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.
Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.
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