AGRIC 2505RW - Crop and Pasture Production II

Roseworthy Campus - Semester 2 - 2024

This course delivers an overview of agronomic production systems for dryland pastures and crops. In particular the course provides a practical understanding of selection, establishment, management and utilisation of crops and pastures in the main rainfall and soil environments encountered in southern Australia. Topics include: weed, pest and disease management; species and cultivar identification and selection; selection and use of crops and pastures; rotations; tillage; nutrition and fertilisers; and the interrelationship of agronomy and the environment.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code AGRIC 2505RW
    Course Crop and Pasture Production II
    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
    Prerequisites AGRIC 1510WT or AGRIC 1520WT
    Assessment Exam and practical reports
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Gurjeet Gill

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 Describe production characteristics of the major crop and pasture production systems in Australian agriculture
    2 Explain the influence of different drivers of change on the farming systems.
    3 Describe how agronomy is used to improve resource use efficiency and sustainable production
    4 Identify important species of crops, pastures and weeds
    5 Describe growth and development pattern of major crop species
    6 Critically evaluate information related to important agronomic practices
    7 Collect and evaluate agronomic data critically and present it clearly
    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.

    5, 6

    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.

    3, 6

    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.

    6, 7

    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.

    6, 7
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Lecture handouts will be posted to the relevant area of MyUni before each class. There will be no provision of printed lecture handouts.
    Recommended Resources
    Additional relevant information is available in the textbook:
    Tow, Cooper, Partridge and Birch (2011) Rainfed Farming Systems (Online access available through UA library)
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The course material is taught by a combination of lectures, tutorials and practical classes, with formative assessment exercises in the form of practical write-ups, tutorial presentations and summative assessment in the form of one examination. The lectures are organised into three streams. The first of these are lectures that cover major principles related to sustainable and profitable crop production. The second stream covers constraints and production practices for important field crops in southern Australia. The third stream addresses the role and adaptation of pastures to the environment and management practices for their management. Lecture modes used are based primarily on traditional classroom paradigms of lecturer-student interactions, using PowerPoint or similar presentation techniques.

    Students work in small groups to collect data on crop growth and development in the field and at the end of the semester all groups will submit an individual report on their findings. In the pastures module, students work in small teams in a small group discovery project. In this project, students produce a small video to highlight pasture species adaptation to different environments. In this course, students also produce an E-portfolio of major Australian weeds of crop and pasture systems.

    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 Lecture Topic Practical
    Week 1
    • Introduction to the course 
    • Drivers of shoot and root growth in field crops
    • Reproductive development of crops
    1. Introduction to the practical program in CPP
    2. Cereal plant structure and Zadoks growth stages
    3. Dissection of a cereal plant to show the wheat head at GS31
    Week 2 Crop water use, water use efficiency (WUE) and role of management in improving WUE of grain crops Class test [7.5 marks]
    1. Identify, dissect, label and photograph cereal plant parts. [4 marks]
    2. Dissection of a cereal plant to show, nodes, internodes and the developing wheat head. [3.5 marks]

    Crop growth and development I: sampling crops to assess crop establishment, NDVI, growth stages, crop height, shoot biomass
    Week 3 Current role of pastures in mixed farming systems, rotational impacts of pastures in disease and herbicide management and nitrogen supply, environmental services provided by pastures, models of crop / pasture integration, pasture adaptations to soil and climates including soil pH, salinity and flowering time Exploration of the criteria required for a pasture system to meet production, feed-base and environmental goals; discussion and information collection for scenario-based learning.
    Week 4 Establishment and regeneration of pastures, seed dormancy, hard-seededness, breaking of dormancy, adaptive traits of pastures and trade-offs in seed size, dormancy and survival in grazed systems, manipulation of pasture composition through nutrients, grazing and herbicides Legume pasture germination and field visit
    Week 5 Current status of pasture systems in the cropping zone, inclusion of forages and fodder systems including native and exotic, annual and perennial grasses, legumes, early grazed cropping dynamics, the impacts of perennial systems on productivity, environmental services and profitability. Group preparation of Pasture scenarios - small group discovery exercise (15 marks)
    Week 6 Seeding systems for succesful crop establishment - no-till and zero-till systems; pros and cons Assist students with weed identification for thier E-weed portfolio
    Week 7 Management practices for high yields: variety selection; crop sowing time; crop seed rate/plant density; row spacing; sowing depth (link with coleoptile length and seed size) Field trip to the Mid North
    Week 8 Improving productivity on difficult soils: acidity; sodicity; non-wetting soils; soil compaction Crop growth and development – second field sampling of crops for growth stages, crop height, shoot biomass, flowering time
    Week 9 • Management of nitrogen nutrition
    • Management of phosphorus nutrition
    E-weed collection (take photos for your weed collection); discuss species identification with the lecturers
    Week 10 Integrated diseases management: foliar and root diseases Estimating crop grain yield by measuring yield contributing traits
    Week 11 Integrated weed management: weed behaviour and safe herbicide use Class test: crop yield estimation in cereals (7.5 marks)
    Week 12 Management practices for high grain quality Revision for the final exam
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary

    Assessment Task Task Type Due Weighting Hurdle Learning Outcome
    Practical: An investigation of growth and development pattern of major South Australian crops Summative

    Week 9

    15% No 1, 3
    Practical: Identify, dissect, label and photograph cereal plant parts and developing head. Summative Week 2 7.5% No 4
    Small group discovery exercise in pastures Summative Week 6 15% No 6
     Practical: Estimation of crop yield by quantifying yield contributing traits  Summative Week 11 7.5% No 2, 3, 4
    Practical: Digital  collection of agricultural weed species  Summative Week 10 15% No 2-5
    Final Exam Summative Exam Period 40% No 1-7
    Assessment Detail
    • Class test: Cereal plant structure and Zadoks growth stages; dissection of a cereal plant to show the wheat head at GS31crop growth and development [7.5%]
    • Pasture small group discovery exercise [15%]: students work in small groups to undertake research on selected pasture species and produce an extension product (video) for assessment.
    • Crop growth and development [15%]: based on data collection from field plots of different crops established on Roseworthy farm. Data colelctions occurs once during early vegetative stage and later during reproductive development.
    • Class test: estimation of grain yield of cereal crops; requires knowledge of crop sampling procedures, data collection and calculation of crop grain yield from yield parameters collected [7.5%]
    • E-weed collection: requires taking good quality photographs of 25 important weeds of South Australian crop and pasture systems [15%]
    • Final examination (2 hours) – 40 marks

    Assignments 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.
    Course Grading

    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.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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