Course code PJH300

PJH300 Sustainable Production Systems in Agriculture

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2016 - 2017 .

Course responsible: Marina Azzaroli Bleken
Teachers: Lars Olav Brandsæter, Trond Børresen, Ole Martin Eklo, Tore Krogstad
ECTS credits: 15
Faculty: Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource Management
Teaching language: EN, NO
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Limits of class size:
In case of less than 5 students the course will be cancelled.
Teaching exam periods:
This course starts ca August 16th and continues through  the Autumn parallel. This course has teaching/evaluation in Autumn parallel.
Course frequency: Annually
First time: Study year 2011-2012
Preferential right:
Course contents:
- Changes in agricultural use of resources (land, labour, external resources including pesticides) since the middle of the 20th century - Food safety and food security - Experience from history: successful and disastrous agricultural systems, long term trials, the story of release and withdrawal of synthetic compounds for plant protection, recent trends in agriculture. - Carbon, Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Sulphur cycles: from field/crop rotation to biogeochemical aspects and recycling from society )including elements of ecological sanitation) - Toxic substances: persistence of heavy metals and pesticides - Elements of epidemiology regarding pests, diseases and weeds: crop protection seen in a production system perspective - Use of different resistance mechanisms in plant breeding - Management as tillage, crop rotation, mixtures and other methods of handling biodiversity: effects on plant competition, soil quality, soil erosion and nutrient losses, diseases" as well as pests" persistence and spreading, and effects on the yield (productivity and quality) - Management of soil fertility in organic farming (Fertilization planning in conventional agriculture is dealt with in JORD231) - Strategies for improving water use efficiency - Introduction to life cycle assessments (LCA) - Introduction to strategies for adaptation to global changes - Production physiology of field crops
Learning outcome:
This course is intended for students that aim at playing a role in agricultural production, might it be as advisor, industry consultant, farmer or public decision maker. The course is intrinsically interdisciplinary. The candidate will attain: - operative knowledge about how to design and manage a sustainable farming system taking into account the nature-given conditions (as soil, climate or pests) and the possible management improvement (as tillage, fertilization, improved plant material, management of biodiversity though crop rotation and mixtures, plant protection and so on) the main focus will be on Norwegian agriculture - knowledge of the role of agriculture for food security, its responsibility in the exploitation and management of Earth"s resources, and its contribution to and mitigation of global changes (both Norwegian and global aspects will be considered) - awareness of the political setting as public expectations and international regulations - training in looking at the consequences of management at both long-term and global scale in order to evaluate the dynamics, strength and fragility of the agroecosystem - training in applying knowledge from previous courses to practical situations, where a number of productivity and environmental concerns can be in conflict with each other.
Learning activities:
Lectures,  field exexercises,  group discussion and presentation by the students,which will require reading of scientific articles in advance. Compulsory assignments. Participation in the field exercises in the august period is compulsory
Teaching support:
Students are expected to play an active role in the class. Exercises will be corrected within short time. Advises are provided before and during the project work by the core teachers. Advises are provided before and during the project work. The main teacher is available in the office during working hours. Midterm evaluation of the course by the studentss
Students will have to read several scientific and applied articles which will be available on Fronter. There is no teaching book available that covers the whole course. Therefore regular attendance is a prerequisite for completing the course. Overheads used during the lectures will be available via Fronter. Students are expected to be able to consult the litterature from previous courses that are part of the expected competance
Bachelor in agronomy and PJH212. Students from other institutions than NMBU should have knowledge of genetics, plant pathology, soil science and plant production at intermediate level, corresponding to a NBU´s bachelor in PV, specialisation in agriculture (among others BIO243, PLV200, JORD230)
Recommended prerequisites:
JORD231: Fertilization planning
Mandatory activity:
Field exercise and farms visits in August. Delivery of about 5 exercises and their correction in the class. Participation in group discussions. A written project work and its presentations. A specified list of the compulsory activities will be available at the beginning of the course,.
Oral examination with an external evaluator counts 70%, exercises, proect work and partecipation in the class counts 30% of the grade.
Nominal workload:
450 hours
Entrance requirements:
Special requirements in Science
Type of course:
In the August period: about 50% of ordinary working time, while 50% of the time is own study. In the autumn period: 7 hours per week, totally 85 hours of which about 65 are lectures.
In 2015 the course starts on Tuesday 16. August.
An external evaluator will be present at each oral examination. The evaluator will also consider the content of the course and suggest how to improve it.
Examination details: Continuous exam: A - E / Ikke bestått