Learning outcomes of the course unit
To provide the student with elementary knowledge relating to the process of plant production, with special reference to the processes of growth and development, maturation, harvest and storage of plant food productions for processing. Knowledge on the effects of agricultural practices on crop production (yield and quality) is also provided.
Course contents summary
INTRODUCTION TO PLANT PRODUCTION.GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT. SEED PROPAGATION. AGAMIC PROPAGATION. CLIMATIC VARIABLES. PLANTS AND WATER.
FERTILISATION. WEEDS AND HERBICIDES. SOIL. ROOT SYSTEMS. SOIL TILLAGE. AGRICULTURAL SYSTEMS.
PLANT AND SOIL WATER. INTRODUCTION TO CROP PRODUCTION.
INTRODUCTION TO PLANT PRODUCTION: Factors of production. Origins of agriculture and of cultivated crops. Yield and quality.
GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT: Development and dry matter partitioning. Analysis and growth indexes (canopy).
SEED PROPAGATION: Seed characteristics and germination in field crops. Dormancy. Sowing and sowing machinery.
AGAMIC PROPAGATION: Apomixy. Layering and other traditional techniques. Cuttings and grafting. Nursery.
CLIMATIC VARIABLES: radiation, temperature, rainfall. Crop injury by high and low temperatures.
PLANTS AND WATER: crop needs. Soil available water. Field capacity and wilting point. Effects of drought and water flooding. Irrigation methods and their efficiency.
PLANT NUTRITION: Main mineral nutrients; excess and deficiency. Antagonisms. Interactions. Macronutrients: nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sulphur. Micronutrients: iron, manganese, boron, zinc, copper, molybdenum, chloride.
FERTILISATION: The main available mineral fertilisers. Organic fertilisers. Fertirrigation. Crop needs.
WEEDS AND HERBICIDES: Agronomical and chemical weed control. Effects of herbicides on plants and their behaviour in the soil.
SOIL: physical, chemical and biological properties. Management of water flooding. Drainage.
ROOT SYSTEMS: Development of the root system of field and fruit crops. Methods of root investigations. Indexes of root growth.
SOIL TILLAGE: Preparatory and complementary tillage operations. Plough and ploughing. Other tillage tools. Alternative techniques.
AGRICULTURAL SYSTEMS: Monoculture, polyculture; intercropping; crop rotation. Organic farming. Cover crops.
PLANT AND SOIL WATER: Hydrologic cycle. Goals of soil water management. Irrigated crop production.
INTRODUCTION TO CROP PRODUCTION: cereals and legumes. Wheat and soybean as examples. Recognition of seeds of the main field crops.
Fabbri A., 2001 - Produzioni Vegetali. Edagricole.
Giardini L., 2002 - Agronomia generale : ambientale e aziendale. 5. ed. – Patron, Bologna.
Giardini L., 2003. A come Agronomia. Patron, Bologna.
Bonciarelli F. 1995 - Fondamenti di Agronomia Generale. Edagricole.
Hartmann H.T., Kester D.E. - Propagazione delle piante. Edagricole.
Landi R., 1999 - Agronomia ambiente. Edagricole, Bologna.
Lecture and practical lessons
Assessment methods and criteria
Test with open questions and oral exam (separated)