Learning outcomes of the course unit
To provide the student with basic knowledge relating to the process of plant production,, with special reference to forage production and pasture management, integrated with elements of agricultural mechanics related to forage production.
Course contents summary
INTRODUCTION TO PLANT PRODUCTION. Factors of production. Origins of agriculture and of cultivated crops. Yield and quality.
GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT. Development and repartition of dry matter. Analysis of growth.
SEED PROPAGATION. Seed characteristics and germination in field crops. Dormancy. Sowing and sowing machines.
AGAMIC PROPAGATION. Apomixy. Layering and other traditional techniques. Cuttings and grafting. Micropropagation. Nursery.
PLANTS AND WATER
PLANTS AND MINERAL ELEMENTS. Main mineral nutrients; excess and deficiency. Antagonisms. Interactions.
FERTILIZATION. The main available mineral fertilizers. Organic fertilizers. Fertigation.
WEEDS AND HERBICIDES. Agronomical and chemical protection. Effects of herbicides and their behavior in the soil.
SOIL: PHYSICAL, CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL PROPERTIES.
ROOT SYSTEMS. Development of the root systen of field and fruit crops.
TILLAGE. Preparatore and comlomentary tillage. Plow and plowing. Other tillage tools. Alterantive techniques.
PRODUCTION SYSTEMS. Monoculture, polyculture; intercropping; crop rotation. Organic farming. Cover crops.
PLANT AND SOIL WATER. Hydrologic cycle. Goals of soil water management. Irrigated crop production.
PRUNING. Physiology of pruning. Pruning operations. Training systems.
PESTS IN CROP PRODUCTION. Classification of plant diseases. Insect pests, Non pathogenic diseases. Principles and methods of pest management. Integrated pest management.
Pasture and forage crop production
Natural forage production. Pasture flora. Calculation of stocking rate. Pasture tachnique.
Grazing meadows. Grassland farming. Characteristics of the main legume and cereal species.
COMPLETE LIST OF REFERENCE TEXTS
Fabbri A., 2001 - Produzioni Vegetali. Edagricole, Bologna.
Fabbri A., 2004 – Dispense integrative di Meccanica agraria e Foraggicoltura.
Bonciarelli F. 1995 – Coltivazioni erbacee da pieno campo. Edagricole, Bologna.
Baldoni R., Giardini L. (a cura di), 2001 - Coltivazioni erbacee. III ed. - Vol. III - Foraggere e tappeti erbosi. Edagricole, Bologna.
Landi R., 1999 - Agronomia e ambiente. Edagricole, Bologna.
Pellizzi G., 1996 – Meccanica e meccanizzazione agricola. Edagricole, Bologna.